Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard/Archive 1

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Archive 1 | Archive 2


YouTube Awards

This is sort of a trial for this board just to get a discussion going and see who shows up. It isn't a dispute, as I don't think its right to point a current dispute towards an empty board, but I'm wondering what should be done with articles such as YouTube Awards where external links normally considered inappropriate (in this case to YouTube videos) make up much of the content of the article and have sources backing up their relevance. Is this a violation of WP:EL, perfectly acceptable and encyclopedic, or should the links be reformatted somehow? ThemFromSpace 01:14, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Links in articles should be to references. I see no need for an exception in this article, and don't see any discussion for such an exception. --Ronz (talk) 20:59, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
I think it's perfectly reasonable to have the links directly in the table for this article. I don't think we need to updateWP:EL. This is a good application of WP:IAR. However, I favor reformatting the links with normal external link symbols to make it more clear to users that clicking the link will lead them to watching the video on YouTube. The present format makes it appear that the links go to individual articles discussing each video, which is further confused by the ones that do have article links. I also note that there have been no complaints on the article talk page for this popular long-lived article.UncleDouggie (talk) 10:03, 31 August 2009 (UTC)


I hate to open with a conspiracy theory article, but no doubt people will be bringing questionable sources later on. My question is, should this site

be added to Chemtrail conspiracy theory. It was removed in this edit. Oddly, this site

  • (OAP), Office of Atmospheric Programs]

was not removed. See Talk:Chemtrail_conspiracy_theory#Justification for additional discussion. .Smallman12q (talk) 02:32, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Hopefully, this will demonstrate how disputes will get resolved here(hopefully).=DSmallman12q (talk) 02:36, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
I think it's off-topic. While the external link is about a program that sometimes sprays stuff in the air, it doesn't mention either "chemtrails" or "conspiracies". The purpose of the external links section is to provide more information about the specific subject (=talk about this specific conspiracy theory), not examples of something kind of related (=an example of somebody spraying something in the air, except without the "chemtrail" or the "conspiracy theory" parts). WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:32, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
There has been at least one serious proposal to pump massive amounts of aerosols (typically water vapor) into the atmosphere to counteract global warming. I don't have the reference at hand. It's not unreasonable to think that proponents of the Chemtrail conspiracy theory have, or soon will, latch onto this as justification for their fears, which could make both ELs applicable. However, I have no reliable source showing this linkage. Therefore, I conclude that the additions were original research and should be removed, along with both external links. I didn't go through all the comments in the justification in-depth, or the references for that matter, so I'm open to having the editor point-out how this is not original research and that the ELs should be retained. UncleDouggie (talk) 01:00, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Before this explodes here, I think the appropriate action is to refer the matter to Wikipedia:Original research/noticeboard. A cohesive statement on the dispute should be posted there, with more than just a link to the complex discussion. The EL issue is secondary. Once the WP:OR matter has been resolved, the issue can be reposted here if needed. I'd say this was a pretty good test case of what we shouldn't get sucked into. I'm going to update the page introduction shortly. UncleDouggie(talk) 02:08, 1 September 2009 (UTC)


It's hard to follow EL guidelines on entertainment articles. Example: Advantagesmith (talk · contribs) is the only user who has added links to (LinkSearch) so the nine links should probably be removed per SPA and linkspam guidelines. However, does anyone want to comment on the EL aspect, for example, is this edit good per WP:EL? There are two issues: the site linked to, and the fact that the link is not under "External links". I noticed WT:External links#External links within an article body. Johnuniq (talk) 09:10, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

This EL has several serious problems. It goes to a site with an embedded YouTube (flash) video, the video is clearly homemade and may have been captured without permission, the EL applies to the section before the one in-which it was added, and it's not clear that it provides any useful additional material beyond the lengthy text interview already referenced in the EL section. Given all that, why bother debating if it should be in the article body? We really can't tell given all the other problems. Correct EL treatment is determined by the value/purpose of the link and we don't have anything to go on in this case. UncleDouggie (talk) 11:48, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Tourism boards

Are (official) tourism board websites on the pages of the area they cover suitable external links on such pages? --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:48, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Sure, possibly, just like any other website if it meets the guideline. 2005 (talk) 12:22, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
I think it depends on the specific case. A state tourism board link certainly doesn't belong on every website about a place in that state. UncleDouggie (talk) 12:33, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

I am generally worried about 'directly being linked': the link is about the tourism, not about the city (e.g.), I mean, it tells about the hotels and sights in the city (which themselves might have notability, and corresponding pages can be deeplinked), and it may also have a page about the city (and that page could indeed be deeplinked then), but for the rest I am not comletely sure. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:59, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Examples (I did not check if all were official or not):

In all these cases, the page linked to does not tell anything, one has to browse further (and probably anyway linked from, and, and the use of these links is hence in all cases more 'yellow pages' like, then 'contain[ing] further research that is accurate and on-topic, information that could not be added to the article for reasons such as copyright or amount of detail, or other meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article for reasons unrelated to its accuracy.' --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:06, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't think it is appropriate to have these links on the "main" page (mostly because those high-level pages are subject to having too many external links), but would be appropriate to have them on the specific article on tourism in that location, such as Tourism in Paris, provided they have some content beyond a simple directory of other links. UnitedStatesian (talk) 15:36, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Personally this is an encyclopedia, tourist links are not relevant. Anyone who can find Wikipedia can easily find tourist links if they want them. I guess if the article is "Tourism in xxx" there would be a relevance but not otherwise.
A further problem would be that for some pages there could be an overwhelming number of apparently legitimate tourist links. --Herby talk thyme 17:09, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree with 2005 and UncleDouggie. For example, I'm contesting the removal of such links from the Algarve article, which is a well-known tourist location in Western Europe and thus a link to the official tourism website is appropriate, which in this case is [http ://]. A quick browsing through articles of other tourist locations such as Hawaii, Andalucia, Dominican Republic or Seychelles clearly shows they included the links to their travel/tourism websites. In the case of the Dominican Republic and Seychelles they even have links separate by category (General, Tourism, etc). The list of examples goes on. If the editors of those articles added such links and haven't removed it one could say most editors will agree such links are in fact appropriate and there isn't anything on the WP:EL saying they shouldn't be added, on the contrary.
As for Herbythyme, claiming tourist links are not relevant is untrue in my opinion. There is no rule on the WP:EL saying links to official tourist websites are inappropriate. And in most cases such websites will include reliable and valid information about that location, including data that verifies the information on the article itself. As for the fear of abuse, well, that can happen with any kind of links. As for tourist websites there is usually only one per location and it's not hard to figure out if it's official or not.
To wrap it up, I believe articles about locations (whether countries, states or cities), should include links to official websites relevant to the article itself. If a certain region is famous for its wine, a link to an official wine institution of that region is appropriate. If a region is notorious for its tourism, a link to the official tourism board is appropriate. There are absolutely no downsides in including one or more links to official sites of a certain location, while not including them may and probably will prevent the readers from learning more about that region. --Xaman79 (talk) 21:37, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
No, that is where the problem begins (it is a bit a spamhole problem). Algarve is 'relatively small', and there will not be too many things the Algarve is known for, so picking important ones there could indeed be possible. But take a country like France, France is known for its champagne, so do we need a major champagne site on France? That could be, indeed, but that is not the only thing France is known for, there are many things, and for all of them one could include a link. And that is why we have WP:ELNO #13 they have to be directly linked. The article on France is likely to have a section on champagne (or at least mention it), and on champagne the link would be of interest. On France the link is not directly linked to the subject, on champagne it is.
Also for Algarve, there is the mention of tourism, and that is why I think that it should not be on tourism, but on Tourism in Algarve (or however the page is supposed to be named), and that page should be linked from Algarve.
You keep repeating the argument, that the links are also included on many other pages. That does not make it immediately right. For Paris, e.g., the link really should be removed there, as it should be on tourism in Paris. --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:20, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for that example, France and Paris also includes a link to travel website, and in the France article it is not France's official one, but the one from Wikitravel, which I find less appropriate than the official one. It only proves that we're the only editors actually discussing this while the other agree to include such links. You say it should be removed, but your opinion seems to differ from many others. The fact is no matter what example you may want to throw, most of them will include a link to the official tourism website. --Xaman (talk) 11:55, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Xaman, you may want to look at WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS.
You may want to take a look yourself, if any article you look up has a link to a tourism website then obviously it is a valid argument as most editors will agree to include such links. Throwing up those policy pages is not a valid counter-argument. And that is valid for discussions regarding keeping or deleting articles, not external links. --Xaman (talk) 11:55, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Overall, my general thoughts line up with the majority of editors commenting so far: Most locations should not have links to tourism-related websites. We should link to the main government page (e.g., ) and let the State of California link to their tourism information (which they do, repeatedly, all over the main page). This approach assumes, of course, that a non-tourism website for Algarve/District of Faro exists; perhaps someone can find such a website.
The complication appears in the case when tourism really is a major part of the location's culture and economy, especially if the government website does not prominently provide tourism information. If the Wikipedia article is substantially (e.g., "half") about tourism (or about any particular industry), then a link might be justifiable. It would be a little silly to say that the link would be allowed on Wikipedia "if only" someone had gotten around to WP:SPLITting the article into two pages, but since the article is still merged, then it's not okay.
As a compromise, it might be worth looking at some of the "about Algarve" pages on the tourism site, e.g., [http :// History], or even [http :// tourist attractions]. These pages would provide more information for those (many, many, many) readers that have no particular interest in visiting southern Portugal, but who might want to read a bit more. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:50, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
The article does include tourism and it does refer tourism as an important part of the Algarve, therefore a link to the official tourism website is appropriated. And a discussion with 4 or 5 editors regarding something which is done in hundreds of articles does not represent the opinion of the majority of the Wikipedia editors, the fact is most have included and maintenance links to the tourism offices for hundreds or thousands of articles. I don't see why it is a problem with this particular article. --Xaman (talk) 11:55, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
The rainbow of colors, video and ugly menus on the three sites listed above are such an attack on one's senses that it's very hard to extract any useful information. The WP articles for those places on the other hand are very informative with easy navigation. I'll venture that most of the current tourism ELs are for cases where editors haven't yet taken the time to incorporate the useful information from the sites into the article and then use the tourism site as a source. UncleDouggie (talk) 12:20, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
There is still alot of information on the tourism board website which is not included on the WP article and until that happens the link should be included, as it happens in the large majority of all WP articles related to locations, especially tourist ones. But the fact is that if you want to make a rule to prevent links to the official tourism boards then the WP:EL needs to be reviewed to include this. Until then a link to a relevant official tourism website is still in compliance. --Xaman (talk) 15:05, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
You say that there is a lot of information which is not included, that should be the primary aim. Question is then also, is it the information that is about the city/area, or is it about specific buildings. That the information is not yet included is not a reason to include the link. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:27, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Xaman: A link to the official site is compliant for an article about tourism to the area. Otherwise, it's a tradeoff between the criteria to include it (WP:ELYES #3; WP:ELMAYBE #4) vs. the criteria to exclude it (WP:ELMAYBE #2; WP:ELNO #1, #5, #8). I believe that Dirk Beetstra stated that WP:ELNO #1 should not be ignored just because the material hasn't yet been incorporated into the article. From a literal reading of the guideline, I agree with him. UncleDouggie (talk) 12:06, 10 September 2009 (UTC)


I've just posted an EL-related BLP issue at the BLP noticeboard. I think it's primarily a WP:BLP issue, but if you're interested, please feel free to add your opinion. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:19, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Both links seem to be in violation of the EL guidelines. I put my comments on the BLP page. --RL0919 (talk) 23:31, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. Given the hostile climate at the article, I really need multiple responses, especially since one of the two who have responded so far will be counted as being on the "anti-activist" side of the debate (for previously opposing blatant BLP violations). WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:03, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Omaha hold 'em

Could I get a third party opinion in here? My take is that a link to a strategy page (by Annie Duke, one of the all time experts on this game) on is not allowable, given the commercial nature of that site; however, another editor thinks that it's OK since the material isn't available on Duke's own site anymore. --jpgordon::==( o ) 19:21, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

As long as the page being linked to isn't specifically an advertisement or sales page, simply being on a commercial site isn't a disqualification. If the material is written by a recognized authority as you indicate, and it supplies relevant and useful information (something for editors who know about the subject to decide), then it should be OK. I do have one concern, which is that I don't see any indication on the site of whether this material is being used with the author's permission. If the site is violating the author's copyrights, then the link would be prohibited per WP:ELNEVER point 1. --RL0919 (talk) 19:47, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm not worried about the copyright issue; if there were problems there, Annie's legions of fans (and her lawyers) would have taken care of it. It just seems odd for Wikipedia to direct people to a purely commercial page like --jpgordon::==( o ) 19:59, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
One thing the link has going is that it is written by a notable personality, and that says a lot. It isn't just Joe Blogger writing Hold'em tips. It could be presented on a less commercial site, but I believe the site is par for the course for the online poker industry. I don't think the isolated link is an issue, but if many more links pop up to ultimatebet dot com in this manner it might need to be looked in to. ThemFromSpace 22:11, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Duke is employed by Ultimatebet so there is no copyright issue (actually the long history of the article is it was on Ultimatebet first, then moved to her own site, then back to ultimatebet). Themfromspace's point is the key one. This is not a link to Joe Blogger. And, the link is to article content, not a site merely selling something. Just because the site the article is on makes money is not a negative at all. 2005 (talk) 00:40, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
But they are a site simply selling something. That they have marketing material -such as articles by their employees -doesn't make it less so. --jpgordon::==( o ) 15:30, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
No, they aren't. The page we're linking has information. The fact that some other page on the website might (although you couldn't prove it by the three pages I clicked on) sell something is irrelevant. Nobody could possibly go to that page and say that there are "objectionable amounts of advertising" or that it exists solely to sell products, because as far as I can see, there are zero advertisements and nothing for sale on that page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:49, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
The New York Times website exists to sell newspapers. Sports Illustrated exists to sell magazines. exists to sell memberships to Blockbuster Online and to sell DVDs, among other things. That doesn't mean they're not excellent sources for external links. The guideline reads that the site must have "selling something" as its SOLE reason for existence. As soon as the site starts providing useful information, then that particular clause from WP:EL no longer applies. Rray (talk) 21:46, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

I honestly don't think strategy pages serve an encyclopedic purpose. That'd open us up for links to every how to page out there. We're not a web directory. DreamGuy (talk) 22:13, 11 September 2009 (UTC)


The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Discussion moved to Administrators' noticeboard--Hu12 (talk) 13:29, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

This user's sole contributions to Wikipedia have been linking to one particular site. I have brought it up to him in the past, but I strongly believe that one's contributions to Wikipedia have to be more than just the linking of a particular site. I believe his linking to go against several points of WP:ELNO, yet discussions with/about him in the past haven't been very productive. Is this behaviour appropriate? ThemFromSpace 23:14, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

If your concern is about the user, then I think it would be more appropriate to bring it up at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User conduct. This board would be appropriate for discussing whether the site being linked is an appropriate EL addition, but whether or not this user is behaving appropriately by limiting their editing activities seems a bit off-topic. --RL0919 (talk) 23:26, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Clearly a spam only account.
Despite Filmtvfan citing a previous discussion, this user is in clear violation of, but not limited to
Additionaly seems to fail the specific requirements of our External Links and Reliable Sources guidelines. I don't think this link meets either guideline.--Hu12 (talk) 15:59, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

The links provided by Filmtvfan provide additional material on the actors which could not be added to their articles, such as fully-legal clips of their films. The user has requested permission to place the links, and been granted it, including even Themfromspace agreeing they had value.[1]

Previous discussions were at Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 24#NZ on Screen and at Wikipedia:New Zealand Wikipedians' notice board/Archive 10#NZ On Screen as a source. I think it is unacceptable that Themfromspace fails to link to these prior discussions.-gadfium 20:23, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, gadfium, for providing a link to that discussion.
I add that the previous discussion did not say that Wikipedia is happy to have an editor that has never added anything to an article without adding a link to his/her favorite (employer's?) website, or that this behavior is not likely to run afoul of the above-mentioned policies. It says that at least some of these links might be acceptable, and that all of these links need to comply with WP:EL#Rich_media by placing a note about needing Flash video software -which Filmtvfan is apparently not doing.
Themfromspace, before deciding to proceed with the WP:RFC/U, I think you need to identify links that should not have been placed in the articles, at all. "He always puts up great stuff, but it's all from the same website" does not strike me as a really major problem. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:03, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't call one or two "yes's" on the WP:NZWNB quite a consensus nor call it "permission granted" for inclusion of a link, especially considered the external links policy states this is a Link normally to be avoided. Additionaly, arguments of "usefull" do not make for exemption of official Wikipedia policy. This conflicts inherantly with SPAM, Conflict of interest and Wikipedia:NOT#REPOSITORY. The contributions to wikipedia under NZ On Screen (talk · contribs) and Filmtvfan (talk · contribs), consist entirely of adding external links and is considered WP:Spam. There has been significant abuse and major breaches of policy by this user, including WP:COI and in Many instances adding 3 links at a time over and over again.--Hu12 (talk) 21:13, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
My reading of WP:EL has changed quite a bit since then and I no longer feel that these links help any of the articles they are put in. The behaviour of the user and the links themselves are two different matters (spamming versus EL guidelines). While both may be looked into, I don't believe an RFC/U is proper unless there are multiple problems with a user, not just a single issue such as linking externally. Regarding the link in question, I can't say anything more than what Hu12 has already mentioned in this discussion. Regarding the editor, I feel very strongly that users who only link to sites of dubious merit are not here to help build an encyclopedia, but this isn't the place to discuss this issue, and if the links are inappropriate the behaviour (theoretically) would stop.
I haven't mentioned the other discussions because they failed to achieve more than a local consensus, and only did so because I backed down from pressing the matter. If the linking would have stopped back then there would be a lot less inappropriate links on Wikipedia ThemFromSpace 22:01, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

The problem for the removing editors here is that all of it comes from the same source, rather than any inherent quarrel with the encyclopedic relevance of the material. This is a rather trivial objection it is like objecting to things because they are all being added from a Library of Congress repository. I watchlist a lot of these articles, and the links have all been relevant and encylopedic, adding material that for commercial reasons is released to NZOS under their licenses, but is not likely to ever be hosted on a Wikimedia project. To simply remove the material from all these pages is to assume that those who watchlist them and have created them are not adequate arbiters of the links that exist on their pages. I understand the need to avoid a linkfarm, but to go and wholesale remove these links without first establishing consensus here, when a previous consensus had clearly been established and has not yet been overturned in discussion, is the opposite of assuming good faith, and creates work that may then need to be undone. Mostlyharmless (talk) 04:37, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

To take issue with one of the comments to claim that the link provided in Hone Tuwhare is of "dubious merit", or to claim the same about the link in BroTown or Forgotten Silver is to show no understanding of either article's subject. In the case of Tuwhare, the full length biopic feature is of very high encyclopedic value. In the case of BroTown and Forgotten Silver, the an entire episode and the entire film are hosted, which, for film and television related subjects is of very high encyclopedic value in explaining the subject. In some cases Hu12 has been replacing links to sites that host copyright violations, despite the edit summaries advising explicitly against this. It's poor form. Having an UNDO tool makes this all a little to easy to just come along and demolish wholesale. 04:45, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
The issue is that these links are not appropriate. They do not add anything more than what an article would already contain if it was featured, they are placed with the intent on promotion, and they generally lack encyclopedic material. If a link from the Library of Congress has the same qualifications it should also be removed, but the LOC has very high standards and it is more likely that it would be suitable. If any of the NZonScreen links do contain encyclopedic material that material should be cited within the article and not linked externally as there is no reason the material can not be integrated within the article. This is true with all sites, if material can be cited it should be, if material can't be cited and the link is otherwise inappropriate than the link doesnt belong, and linking strictly for the purpose of promoting a website that do not contain encyclopedic information is not allowed and should be removed. Linking externally instead of building the content within the article is a lazy practice and when they are widespred they present a picture that they are only here to get the site's name out, which is where the conflict of interest and spam issues come into play. ThemFromSpace 04:56, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
So, Themfromspace, do I understand correctly that your primary issue is with ELNO #1, e.g., that Hone Tuwhare's bio should be used to develop the article content (and therefore be listed under ==References==) instead of being listed in the external links? I doubt that this applies to all of the links, but is this an issue for a majority of them? WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:24, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
The links mostly contain film and TV footage, as well as bios. This is exactly the sort of material we should be linking to, because we cannot for copyright reasons include it directly in Wikipedia. Themfromspace made the mistake earlier of removing the material because he could not see the video content, presumably due to the lack of flash or a flash blocker. He subsequently agreed that the material was appropriate. It appears that he is again claiming that the site contains nothing more than what an article would already contain if it was featured. Presumably, he has again failed to actually view the site with a suitably equipped browser, and his claim does not hold up.-gadfium 05:35, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, if these links are able to be used as reliable sources they should be integrated as such. This goes on a case by case basis and should have been done originally instead of plopping external links down by the dozen. Now each link should be evaluated on its own merit and either removed or used as a reference.
You're incorrect in your assumption about me not reviewing the material. I know exactly what these videos contain, and I still feel they don't belong as external links. Videos can be used as reliable sources and cited just like news articles. In fact, biographies and video of tv personalities shouldn't be linked to either but they should also be integrated as reliable sources. The only way an external link is acceptable is if the entire document has encyclopedic relevance (such as a transcript/video of a famous speech). ThemFromSpace 16:20, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
In many of these cases the entire documents do in fact have encyclopedic relevance. For a copyrighted work of film or television, there are few things of higher value in allowing the reader to to gain further information than a link to a freely viewable (with appropriate, widely used software,) copy of the work in question. In other cases, they provide a demonstration of the practice in question, or illustrate a biography, and do so better than any other works available to this project. Mostlyharmless (talk) 01:55, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
Along with ELNO #1, a case can also be made for;
  • 2. ... unverifiable research
  • 4 Links mainly intended to promote a website
  • 7 Sites that are inaccessible to a substantial number of users.. (due to ELNO#8)
  • 8. require external applications (such as Flash )
There "may" even be issues with Material that violates the copyrights of others. Linking to copyrighted works, Knowingly and intentionally directing others to a site that violates copyright has been considered a form of contributory infringement in the United States (Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry [2]).[3] Wikipedia servers are locared in the U.S.A., not N.Z.[4] --Hu12 (talk) 13:47, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
While I won't disagree that a SPA spamming a link probably means we shouldn't have that link, I take issue with the requirement of flash really being considered "Sites that are inaccessible to a substantial number of users". It's a free DL, and anyone who goes to Youtube (which is linked all over the place, often otherwise following WP:EL just fine) will need it. It seems like denying a link because it won't work on an IE earlier than 7 or something. Yeah maybe not everyone will, but I hardly think it's "substantial". ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:12, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia is optimized for readers over editors...and yes, sites that only work with a specific browsers are also undesirable. --Hu12 (talk) 17:05, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
ELNO #8 is being misrepresented, as it is specifically limited to direct links that require outside software. Links to HTML pages that then link to Flash video require only labeling (=type "Flash video, ___ MB" at the end of the line). Large files are, because of their size, inaccessible to some readers, which is why we always want them labeled and usually want to avoid them if there are other, equally appropriate options. For a not-very-valuable video, "no links at all" may be better than a huge file. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:49, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
In the case of these however, and unlike Youtube links, which are scattered everywhere, these pages do not automatically load the files, in this case large (~40-50mb) files viewable on the pages. You have to press play for the download to begin. The link takes the reader there, and the file sizes are clearly viewable, so the characterisation that someone would be sprung unaware a large download simply by clicking the link is incorrect Yes, they're large files, and people with slow connections or data-caps might find them taking a while or eating their download limits, but that is a decision for them to make, not for us to make on their behalf, thinking we know better than them. Mostlyharmless (talk) 01:55, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
Wikimedia also hosts a great deal of content in Ogg files, which are inaccessible to the great majority of browser users. Flash 9 is much more democratic than that, fortunately. Mostlyharmless (talk) 01:55, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Proposed solution. I would like to propose a solution. I would like to define the "problem" as; Are these links relevant to the content, and providing the reader with quality information?

I also think it needs to be made explicit that AGF should be assumed here, and that we assume that (as Filmtvfan has engaged with other editors in meta-discussion on this matter), we assume that it is the case that each link is being inserted on the basis that it is thought to be providing that relevant information to readers. The problem however is that this has been done wholesale, without any substantial engagement with the pages in question.

So, the solution that I would like to propose is that Filmtvfan be asked 1.) to present the links to the editors of the pages on the talk pages of the proposed pages for feedback on their encyclopedic value to the pages in question. and 2.) that it is reiterated to Filmtvfan that there is the requirement that external links be of high value in providing other information that is not otherwise available on this project.

With those two conditions, I think that the focus of this will go back to what it needs to be Are these links relevant to the pages? rather than Is Filmtvfan putting in a lot links to one outside media hosting project? Mostlyharmless (talk) 02:05, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

That approach works for me. Perhaps the assumption should be that in the absence of objections after a reasonable time (e.g., one week) on the talk page, Filmtvfan should feel free to add the links. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:44, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
I usually don't like to turn one big problem into a bunch of little problems, but I agree that each link needs to be evaluated on an individual basis and Filmtvfan should be warned against linking for invalid purposes. An issue I forsee is that each link's discussion might not get much of a response, but I would be willing to weigh in on these discussions since I brought the general problem here. I assume each discussion would take place on the article's talk page? ThemFromSpace 05:16, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
I also don't like creating a whole bunch of little problems, but since there is at least some high quality content there, I'm not sure there's a way around it. Yes, the talk pages of the particular articles would be the best place to have discussions about content on the pages. It is a pity that as the project gets older pages are often orphaned by their creators, but again there isn't much to do about that either. Mostlyharmless (talk) 12:06, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
"relevant" does not make exception to the multiple WP:ELNO restictions, and vio's of WP:NOT and WP:COI. Lets not forget, user Filmtvfan (talk · contribs) is user NZ On Screen (talk · contribs). Continued link additions by this user is subject to Wikipedia:Conflict_of_interest#Blocks, Wikipedia:BLOCK#Disruption_prevention (Persistent spamming) and Wikipedia:BLOCK#Disruption-only (Accounts that appear, based on their edit history, to exist for the sole or primary purpose of promoting a person, company, product, service, or organization in apparent violation of Conflict of interest or anti-spam guidelines.). If a specific link is needed as a citation, an etablished editor can request it on a case-by-case basis, where the url can be demonstrated as an appropriate source (in an appropriate context) when there are no other reasonable alternatives available.--Hu12 (talk) 14:32, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
WP:IAR. We're here to build an encyclopedia, not a bureaucracy. Those rules are only there to help us develop an encyclopedia. There is a consensus among editors familiar with these subjects (see discussion at WP:NZ) that most of the content placed here is desirable and contributes strongly to the pages in question. Oh, and if we're going to quote WP:Rulecruft, a very large number of your reverts violate WP:ELYES 2. Mostlyharmless (talk) 01:51, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
  • "Ignore all rules" does not sabotage the other rules. WP:SPAM, WP:EL, WP:COI, WP:NOT and Neutrality are all consensus agreed upon, widely accepted standards that all editors should follow. An "improvement" to the encyclopedia is not achieved by violating community guidelines. --Hu12 (talk) 18:20, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps more pointfully, it's not very important whether we agree, if Filmtvfan disagrees. S/he has only made one edit in the last week, and may have no idea that this discussion is here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:19, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
OK, just discovered this entire discussion. Thank you all for taking the time to discuss this. My perspective is that following initial queries I received an indication from this community that adding links to NZ On Screen in suitable articles was acceptable.
I have added these links to articles where I felt there was added value in the NZ On Screen link not rampantly to everything. NZ On Screen is updated constantly with new programmes and profiles, hence the ongoing nature of this linking and referring. I have referred back to the discussion in edit notes as requested. One thing I did not consistently do (which I will go back and revise, and in which I have been remiss) was add the info about flash and filesize. I have also frequently added text to articles, where it made sense to do so and based on the content that has been written for NZ On Screen.
I would like to say that NZ On Screen is a valid and verifiable source of information it is a NZ Government funded and endorsed website and contains information that is frequently not available anywhere else it is non-commercial and stands to gain only some additional viewers through links from Wikipedia.
If this community would prefer that I propose a link each time in the Talk section of an article and wait for acceptance, then I am happy to do that I think that the proposal of waiting a week for an objection or discussion is a good one. I certainly do not wish to contravene any rules.
However I do have a problem with Hu12 having reverted the majority of my entries recently, despite this conversation remaining unresolved. User:Filmtvfan (talk) 09:02, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
We already have a guideline on this. Let's just ask User:Filmtvfan to follow it. Since several of the edits have raised objections, it seems that the right course is to announce the availability of the material on the talk page of each article and let another editor add it. If there's been no objection after a week on an untraveled talk page, it's probably OK for User:Filmtvfan to add it directly. On the copyright issue, I see nothing that restricts the material to NZ users, just that no commercial use is permitted. UncleDouggie (talk) 10:10, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
I can certainly do this from now on, thank you. How do you propose I deal with all the existing articles whose edits have recently been reverted by Hu12? (talk) 11:03, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
For articles on which the links where previously discussed without objection, just add them back in. In other cases, propose the change on the talk page just as if the links had never been added & removed. However, please wait at least 24 hours to see if anyone else objects to this course of action. UncleDouggie (talk) 12:33, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
I think each link should be looked at on an individual basis. Filmtvfan is citing this discussion while currently readding these links, in a fashion which I think is overly hasty. None of the links have been discussed on an individual basis. I'd be willing to object to any of these links being added in without discussion of why it would meet our external links guidelines, as I think the majority of these are unacceptable. ThemFromSpace 03:24, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
I also note that a twitter feed is canvassing this discussion, and also contains the most welcome comment "Some vigilante fucker at wikipedia has gone and deleted all my links!" ThemFromSpace 04:09, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
I apologise for the tweet. I have been frustrated at trying to follow the correct process at being given appropriate permissions which are then retracted. It was inappropriate and stupid of me to do that. Sorry. Moving on the discussion I followed ended with UncleDouggie proferring a solution and suggesting I wait 24 hours before changing anything which I did. Following that time period I have added the file size info, I have added bio details where I could, I have added the Flash reference all the things that were asked for the links that were not directly questioned as requested above. Are you now saying that I should have a discussion on every entry that has already been reverted as well? If so, then sure, I will do that. User:Filmtvfan (talk) 05:38, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
Edit conflict. I see Filmtvfan has now apologised. I don't think that counts as canvassing, actually. There is no exhortation for others to join in, just an expression of frustration. I know I'd be annoyed if someone reverted a whole lot of my good faith attempts to improve the encyclopedia without discussing it first. And since it isn't Wikipedia, there's no penalty for not being civil. It's off-wiki anyway, so I'm interested to know how you found it. Mostlyharmless (talk) 05:46, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

And, as always, the point of this should be how do we improve the encyclopedia? Lets remember the first rule of Wikipedia, ignore the bureaucracy, AGF, and get on with improving things. And in the case of Hone Tuwhare, that link was entirely appropriate. Mostlyharmless (talk) 05:53, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

She shouldn't be referencing this discussion at all. She should either reference the talk page section where the addition was agreed to or be placing the material on the talk page itself. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that Themfromspace is objecting to the resolution, just the manner in which it is being applied. Note to Filmtvfan, please include your username in your signature. I've added to your posts above. UncleDouggie (talk) 06:01, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

I see that Filmtvfan (talk · contribs) is again adding links, and it appears the account is an SPA with a COI. This talk page does not establish that the links have merit, and should not be quoted in edit summaries as some sort of justification. As explained by Hu12 above, the editor is here to promote a web site. Why are the links needed so urgently that they have to be added now rather than waiting for an established and independent editor to add at least a small number of them? Johnuniq (talk) 01:25, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

This is the kind of closed shop that Wikipedia has become. Why are the links needed so urgently that they have to be added now rather than waiting for an established and independent editor to add at least a small number of them. The site in question did not exist even a few years ago. The content it hosts did, of course. So, unlike most of the content on Wikipedia, there has been no chance for it to gradually seep in. I'm quite glad that someone is taking the time to add links where relevant. User:Filmtvfan has said that she is only adding the links in question when she thinks they are highly relevant to the pages. She has only added a small fraction of the possible links to content from New Zealand On Screen. It has been agreed by the editors who created the pages in question, and those who edit and watchlist them, and the members of Wikiproject: New Zealand (who are also familiar with the subjects in question) that the content is of high value. With respect to WP:COI, that policy says that declaring an interest, and being open and transparent, and working with other users is advisable. Since being informed of the policy, User:Filmtvfan has actively done all of these things. WP:SPA is an essay, which expresses that opinions on SPAs are mixed, and that they should be judged on the value of their contributions. As always (and I make no apology for repeating myself), the question we should be asking is are these edits valuable?. Mostlyharmless (talk) 02:53, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
Let's please not turn this into yet another debate on the merits of the NewScientist article. The simple fact is that if we were to just allow new editors to do whatever they want, Wikipedia would be overrun by spam in short order. Many of the commenters in this thread spend a great deal of time in the trenches to maintain the quality of Wikipedia in such a way that it's still possible to add useful external links to an article without them being drowned out by 1000 other links or just overwritten by the next spammer that comes along. UncleDouggie (talk) 05:30, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
I believe there is consensus that at least some of the NZ On Screen links are useful and therefore we shouldn't have a blanket policy of deleting them. I don't think it's appropriate to decry the enthusiasm with which Filmtvfan edits. Wikipedia thrives on enthusiastic editors. Filmtvfan may even branch out one day into other types of editing. Everyone starts as a SPA, at least with regards to adding new material. SPA behavior can be a sign of other issues, all of which have already been raised in this thread, so there's no further reason to bring it up.
The latest charges by Themfromspace and Johnuniq center around whether or not a consensus has been reached on the article talk page for each of the individual links that Filmtvfan has added. The other issues are a distraction from the question of whether the consensus reached in this thread is being followed. Speed is only an issue if a link is added in an attempt to beat out an objection. UncleDouggie (talk) 05:30, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
I propose that whoever believes that the resolution isn't being followed should start a new section on this page titled "NZ On Screen" and list the articles that have had links added without consensus since 16 September 2009 so that we may all review the associated talk pages. Even if some additions without consensus are found, we should assume that the edits were done in good faith and focus on explaining what constitutes consensus. I would then expect Filmtvfan to remove the affected links until consensus is reached. UncleDouggie (talk) 05:30, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
I have created a NZ On Screen section below. Johnuniq (talk) 08:44, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

NZ On Screen

Following a suggestion by UncleDouggie above, here is a list of the articles edited by Filmtvfan (talk · contribs) since 16 September 2009 (all, except for Marcus Lush, include re-adding links):

I do not see any consensus to add the links in these articles. If the links are important, I would expect an established editor to add them because mass-adding links by an WP:SPA is not acceptable. Johnuniq (talk) 08:44, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

I just looked at the first two and obviously there is a problem. What's the deal Filmtvfan? On both Bollinger & James, the bio material should be incorporated into the articles with good sources (more than NZ On Screen). I think that the link to the video of Billy T. James is a keeper, but it needs talk page consensus due to the COI position of Filmtvfan. COI is the issue here, not SPA. UncleDouggie (talk) 12:43, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
There is a significant problem here. user Filmtvfan (talk · contribs) is user NZ On Screen (talk · contribs). This user is now subject to;
  1. (Persistent spamming)
  1. (Accounts that appear, based on their edit history, to exist for the sole or primary purpose of promoting a person, company, product, service, or organization in apparent violation of Conflict of interest or anti-spam guidelines.).
This user has been warned, but continues anyway. After being blocked previously and declined 4 times[5], this situation was sufficiently explained to NZ On Screen Project Director Brenda Leeuwenberg[6] on her previous accountUser_talk:NZ_On_Screen over a year ago also. As outlined above, this user has continued in violation of WP:SPAM, WP:EL, WP:COI, WP:NOT, WP:CANVASS and Neutrality. Despite clear evidence of abuse and multiple statements of policy, explaination or rationale for placing the link is quite secondary to the behaviour, when it reaches this stage.--Hu12 (talk) 13:59, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
The place to report WP:SOCKs is over there. (Which reminds me: I really ought to get around to nominating the 34th sock of User:Jessica Liao...) WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:06, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

You guys don't get it. Take the first one, for example. Alun Bollinger. He's a filmmaker. What could be more encyclopedic in a multi-media encyclopedia than the chance to look at his work. It is not hosted on Wikimedia projects, and will likely never be. NZOnScreen offers vastly richer information to Wikipedia readers than IMDB, which is pretty much everywhere. Is this user promoting her site? Yes. Is that in violation of a bunch of rules? Yes. But you know what? I don't care. Because where the links have been provided, they significantly improve the pages in question. Listen to yourselves the material should be incorporated into the article. Words will never be able to convey with the same value what the chance to look at the material directly does. You look at Wikipedia and only see a pile of rules. People such as yourselves are the reason why I have stopped actively contributing to Wikipedia. Mostlyharmless (talk) 03:32, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

As someone chiming in for the first time in this conversation, and reading through all that's been written so far, from where I'm sitting Mostlyharmless seems to represent what I consider common sense (though perhaps it is uncommon on Wikipedia): the only thing I love more than Wikipedia's rules is Wikipedia itself.
I would propose that even if Filmtvfan (talk · contribs) were being malicious (which from where I'm sitting, seems extremely unlikely)(see Gadfium's links above 1 2), and his/her attempt at malice at the end of the day leads to Wikipedia being better (this seems to mostly be the case), I say, let him/her go nuts.
Discussion about what is/isn't allowed strikes me as ridiculously narrow pedantry Lanma726 (talk) 07:29, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Filmtvfan was blocked indefinitely 2 days ago despite having made no further edits since this section was started. I've posted a comment about the block at the admin noticeboard. UncleDouggie (talk) 06:14, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


I have reverted an edit like this before at Legal advice. Two issues: Per the header to this page, I assume asking for an opinion on the link added is ok? As there is no discussion of links on the talk page of the article, it seems overkill to ask people to go and create such a discussion, so I think brief opinions here would be helpful. The second issue: is the link helpful per WP:EL (the site is a "a free legal forum dedicated to discussing the law")? I notice that the link is also in Law, added here. Johnuniq (talk) 08:05, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't see anything useful there simply someone trying to promote their very, very low content self-help forum. Drop a note on the talk page if he persists, but I can't image how that site could possibly be used to expand on the topic. Kuru talk 13:41, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Definitely not a good link for either article. I can't think of any WP:EL standard that would justify including this. --RL0919 (talk) 14:05, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Agreed with the above. Aside from the standard link concerns, I don't know if our links are allowed to give legal/medical advice. I know it's frowned upon at the reference desk. ThemFromSpace 16:33, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree as well. I see that the link has been removed from Law. UncleDouggie (talk) 06:38, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Linkfarm at John Prendergast


There's an external hyperlink linkfarm at John Prendergast which the editor who added it all, Jespah (talk · contribs), is owning. As can be seen, there is very little prose addition to the article going on. See Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#John Prendergast for more details. Uncle G (talk) 13:02, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Clearly there's no way all those links are appropriate. I just removed one especially egregious one that only mentioned the subject briefly. The temptation is to wipe the whole list, but presumably there are a few relevant links in there. --RL0919 (talk) 15:14, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
Oh, my. Ninety-one links. I'll leave a note on the talk page. If a couple of editors would please watchlist this, and watch for edit warring, I think it would help. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:21, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
I just completed a major cutback of the links. I cut the redundant links to Enough Project and it's affiliates, links to stories about other subjects where he was just a source, etc. The article is now less than half its previous size, which is a striking testament to how many unnecessary links there were. There are still several links to speeches and interviews that I might have cut, but I kept them because I'm no expert on the subject and don't want to cut something that might be an important speech he made. Someone who knows more about his life and work can continue the trimming if they wish. I agree that watchlisting by outside editors is a good idea, because I don't know yet how the "owner" will react to my changes. --RL0919 (talk) 18:26, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
Update: Jespah (talk · contribs) has responded very politely on my talk page, asking for clarifications of what is appropriate for the article and thanking me for my responses. I think that is a good sign and am placing a "resolved" icon at the top of this section. --RL0919 (talk) 16:29, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Wind Rivers link

I added what I believe is a legitimate external link but it was removed. The link was to the website, which includes a weeklong backpacking trip through the Wind Rivers complete with numerous photographs. The website does not sell anything, is not a blog, does not promote a company (such as an outfitter) and adds textual and visual information to the entry on the Wind Rivers. I believe this link should be reinstated. --Dan Omlor

Note: I have copied the comment above over from Wikipedia talk:External links because it seems more appropriate here. --RL0919 (talk) 18:21, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Some more info: Based on Special:Contributions/TrekkerForrest, several different article appear to be involved, including Wind River Range, Zion National Park, Winterplace Ski Resort, etc. Placing external links is not the exclusive use of this account, but it is its most common activity, although not always this particular link. I have not attempted to evaluate the suitability of this link on any of the affected pages, but I thought this information could be helpful for others. --RL0919 (talk) 18:30, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
The link you list above doesn't work, and the link you actually placed in Wind River Range was just to the main page of the website, which doesn't tell me anything about Wind River except that supposedly there's something hidden somewhere on the website about it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:19, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I see: there must be a space in the middle of the URL. This should work. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:21, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

See User talk:TrekkerForrest for my warning re: spam, as user had added multiple links to the same website. Wikipedia is not a linkfarm. Vsmith (talk) 21:43, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Seems to be a clear WP:COI problem with links to content of no real value for our readers. DreamGuy (talk) 13:58, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

I would stay away from the no value argument. I'm sure the links have value to some readers, especially hikers from Kentucky where the driving directions begin. However, there are hundreds of such trip reports on the web. The links fail WP:ELNO #1. Enough said. There are a few nice pictures on the site that could enhance the articles if permission is given to post them to Wikipedia. The Wind Rivers article could even have a single EL to a directory of trip reports, if such a thing exists. Let's also keep in mind that these links were added in good faith. What we want is to bring the contributing editors around to enhancing the Wikipedia articles themselves instead of driving them away. After all, these are the folks that have been to the area and seem to know it well. UncleDouggie (talk) 07:32, 23 September 2009 (UTC)


From a post by Dougweller at WT:External links Neo-druidism has a long list of external links and it is yet another tricky situation where Talk:Neo-druidism#External links (and the article history) shows that an established editor has used care to trim the list, but it is still essentially a directory of sites of local interest. I'm currently somewhat neutral because it's not your normal spammer-induced or ad hoc list. Johnuniq (talk) 23:07, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Australian Pink Floyd Show


There has been a long standing debate between myself / few other editors, and fly-by-night fans that come upon the article. At the core of this debate is the addition (or lack thereof) of Ian Cattell's website to the external links. The band has about 13 members, only 4 of which are "band members" that share in the profits/losses of touring. The remainder (including Cattell) are hired musicians for the shows. Myself, and the couple other frequenting editors, agreed about a month and a half ago that none would get an external link except the band itself. However, others, that often come and go, insist otherwise.

This is essentially a request for comments on the matter. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 15:48, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

It looks like this is being proposed as an official link, but I don't think it meets the requirements. I've added my 2¢ to the discussion.
Maintenance is a hassle. Newbie editors usually don't know about the talk page, much less what's on it. They're just trying to help, within the limits of their (lack of) knowledge. Please keep at it -- and yes, let us know if it gets frustrating. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:18, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
I replied on the article talk page and removed two links from the article (one unneeded and one dead.) UncleDouggie (talk) 08:07, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Awesome... Not sure why that one link was dead for you but it works fine for me. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 23:14, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Shadowrun links

Hey. Can some people take a jaunt over to the Talk:Shadowrun page and let us know what you think about an external link. Basic story, the S-Run community site, [7], was removed in an EL purge some time ago when the site was gone. Now it has returned in a new guise and the people running the site want to add the external link back into the Shadowrun page. This was removed by several editors from the article as a non-notable fansite and conflict of interest spamming. However now many people from the site have come over and are making arguments as to why it should be included. Myself and another couple of editors can't see how it meets the standards of the external links as it offers no encyclopaedic content in addition to the article, however it's getting out of hand with editors coming from S-Run itself. Long story short, can we get some more neutral eyes on the topic to see if some decision can be reached on this one. Don't mind the final outcome, but this single discussion now takes up the majority of the page and it getting nowhere. Canterbury Tail talk 12:29, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Commented. JoeSmack Talk 23:06, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
So did I. It appears to be a relatively young open wiki. If a couple of editors could stop by long enough to add an opinion based on something stronger than ILIKEIT or IDONTLIKEIT, it would be helpful. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:50, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
There is now an open call for opinions on the two ELs in question. UncleDouggie (talk) 07:41, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
Please, if you've got three minutes, have a look at this. An editor has gone to a fair bit of work to organize the issue into a couple of simple questions. It would be really nice for him (or her) to get a response from more than UncleDouggie and myself. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:04, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Are these links too commercial?

Location hypotheses of Atlantis has a large number of links, far too many in my opinion (some are also references). I removed two today, one a blog, both full of ads, and they've been restored. Are they in fact within our guidelines? Here's the diff where they were restored [8]and the links are [9] and [10]. Thanks.

Dougweller (talk) 20:57, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

IMO, these links are not entirely prohibited by our guidelines. The blog could be accepted under WP:ELMAYBE #3, "A well-chosen link to a directory of websites or organizations." The "wiki" is not an open wiki, and therefore ELNO #12 doesn't apply. So they could be accepted if there were a consensus among regular editors of the article to do so.
I fully agree that the list needs to be dramatically trimmed. Offhand, I'd suggest removing anything that duplicates a reference, anything on the blog-directory list, and anything that is location-specific. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:25, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
I've raised the question as to whether the wiki is an open wiki here - I agree with the editor there that if you just have to register to edit, it's open. Dougweller (talk) 06:01, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing: Why do you say that is not an open wiki? UncleDouggie (talk) 09:43, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Hu12: Which of the two sites do you believe is a scrapper site? UncleDouggie (talk) 09:43, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Because the method of editing is "To submit new information or corrections: additions [@]"[11] Doug's definition is correct: an open wiki lets me make changes directly. This website does not appear to allow me to do that. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:42, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
You're right. The main part of the site is a collection of research articles. The wiki portion of the site seems to be non-functional as all topics return "topic does not exist yet". UncleDouggie (talk) 03:29, 5 October 2009 (UTC)


CLIO is a journal devoted to publishing research papers by students and teachers of History. - anyone can add articles. It's being used both as an external link and as a source/reference. I don't think it should be used as an EL (and certainly not as a source unless the author can be shown to be a RS). Thanks. Dougweller (talk) 09:23, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

It appears to be a place for student essays to be posted online. They appear to be reliable sources, as they contain bibliographies, but overall the quality of writing is very poor and none of the authors that I've spotchecked appear to be notable academics. I'd have to say the link is not appropriate for both the purposes of external links and reliable sources. ThemFromSpace 16:31, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
It seems that material posted on CLIO should be treated the same as something on a personal website. UncleDouggie (talk) 21:40, 4 October 2009 (UTC)


Wikipedia has over 100 external links to, which is a fork of wikipedia. Please confirm that this is not allowable and advise how to proceed in such massive cases and how to prevent this from happening in the future. By the way, IMO "Wikipedia:External links#Links normally to be avoided" must explicitly forbid links to wikipedia mirrors and forks, because the language "inks to open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability..." creates a loophole. - Altenmann >t 15:58, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

  • P.S. Since we have a list of mirrors and forks, I guess someone can write a bot to report links from those. - Altenmann >t 16:01, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
I would say this is obviously not acceptable, just as it is not acceptable to use other Wikipedia pages as sources. I'll put in an edit to WP:ELNO as you suggest, and if anyone disagrees they can always revert. As to the present case, 100 links is not a terribly huge number amongst the millions of WP articles, so this particular site could be removed "by hand". But since there are a bunch of other mirrors, if someone wants to program a bot to hunt down all the mirror links I think that should be considered acceptable (going through the standard approval process for bots, of course). --RL0919 (talk) 16:26, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
I looked at the first ten mainspace pages, and found only one that used this site as an external link. The other nine were being passed off as reliable sources. Consequently, I think you need to take this question elsewhere, perhaps to RSN. I'm not sure what the best solution is; perhaps blacklisting, perhaps XLinkBot, perhaps something else. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:00, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
The policy is clear at WP:MIRROR. XLinkBot skips refs and only reverts ELs from IP or new users, so it won't be useful here. Are mirrors added to the blacklist? UncleDouggie (talk) 08:24, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
That non-policy is only clear because I clarified it before responding here. I still believe that since it's so rarely used as an EL, this isn't really the ideal forum... although I'd be surprised if RSN gave an answer other than "kill on sight". WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:18, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

DOC links

A person from New Zealand Department of Conservation has asked permission to fix broken links to their website. Given the mess around Filmtvfan, I am asking for wider feedback before we allow or deny this request. The request is at User:Conservation ranger. Please comment at User talk:Conservation ranger.-gadfium 23:06, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Youtube check


I notice that links to youtube have recently been added to several articles, including Deutsche Telekom and Orange United Kingdom and Telefónica Europe and Vodafone. Is this reasonable? While I'm asking, any thoughts on the long list of links at Vodafone? Johnuniq (talk) 10:34, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

The only one I've looked at so far is Vodafone, and the list of links there was excessive and unnecessary. I cut all but two for reasons given in my edit summaries. I don't have time to look at the other pages right now, but hopefully someone else will. --RL0919 (talk) 14:36, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

OK, easy:

  • We are not the yellow pages
  • the subject of the link is not directly linked to the subject of the page (it would be on, e.g., Deutsche Telekom Youtube Channel
  • it does not help in improving the subject
  • We don't need to link to every official link on a subject

These can go. --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:51, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

OK, although WP:EL could be clearer! I think you removed four, and I just removed another 19. Johnuniq (talk) 09:08, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
I take it that you're not trying to unlink youtube from all articles, as we have thousands. So what was your criteria to unlink 19 of them? UncleDouggie (talk) 09:35, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
That's a good question, although I can only give a quick response now and do not have a knock out argument. First, I noted that almost none of the edit summaries offered a reason for why the link was added (in fact, many summaries just said "category"). Second, I looked at a couple of the videos and they were atrocious as far as encyclopedic value is concerned (one was some guys kicking a ball; another couple were adverts showing how wonderful some company was). Third, I read a hint from WP:EL that videos are ok but only if certain conditions are satisfied, and I did not think they were. Johnuniq (talk) 10:58, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Sounds good. It's quite an undertaking to go through them all and I'm sure you will run into battles. Question: How did you quickly find that the edit summary had a short comment when the link was added? Do you have yet another magic tool that I haven't stumbled on yet, or did you run WikiBlame for all of them individually? UncleDouggie (talk) 11:13, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Nothing clever I'm afraid. The links mentioned here were all added by one (good) user over a short period, and one of them was to an article I watch, so it was easy. I won't go looking for youtube links to remove, and in fact I can see the point to a video showing an entertainer (if no copyright issue). However, I think we should strongly resist links to videos which are clearly adverts or promotions. Johnuniq (talk) 02:49, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
For me, that Deutsche Telekom, Orange United Kingdom, etc. etc. have a youtube channel is similar to Britney Spears having a twitter, myspace, facebook, etc. etc. Yes, they are official, yes, they are allowed as such, but what do they add, are they directly linked (in content) to the subject, it would result/results in linkfarming, and that is more a directory entry then an encyclopaedic link (on this article; if Deutsche Telekom Youtube Channel would be notable, then there it would of course be thé link to place). Moreover, I presume that if that channel is so important, it is also prominently linked from the companies website anyway. --Dirk Beetstra T C 09:42, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan site

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan has an official/semi-official website. Would it be appropriate to post a link to it? I imagine there's already been a discussion about posting external links to terrorist websites, but I can't find it and am not sure what the current policy is. Thanks. Otebig (talk) 18:11, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

There is a current discussion about linking to a Taliban site, and similar thoughts would apply here. The Wikipedia policy on content that may be offensive to readers is clear: Wikipedia is not censored. However, we don't just link to any old site that claims to be related to a subject. If there is good evidence that the site really is an "official" site of the group (one that it controls), then a link would be appropriate. If such evidence is lacking, then we would treat it similarly to how we treat fansites for celebrities, which means it probably should not be linked. --RL0919 (talk) 18:39, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
I think if we have an official website then we should post it, with due respect to WP:NOTCENSORED. The obvious caveat here being that the link must be legal to host. This goes without saying in most cases, but must be respected for sites such as this. I think the link in question would be ok as it isn't yet illegal to view/host material that goes against the agenda of the U.S. government (although I'm not a lawyer so don't quote me on this). Just make sure that the link really is the official website. ThemFromSpace 06:53, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Am I spamming WP?


I've been contributing to WP articles on linguistics and the Islamic world for some time now. However, lately I've been attempting to improve the articles on various non-Anglophone poets and foreign poems by adding external links to translations written by me and published on my blog:

After a quick look at WP:EL, I realized that what I was doing could constitute spam. Wikipedia policy clearly prohibits blogs and personal websites and, as such, links to my blog are in violation of the letter of the law on WP.

However, my blog does not make me any money (not that I didn't try,) and does not even include any personal information that could suggest my actual identity. So it's not self-promotion in the slightest. Its primary purpose is informational as I explain in this entry. Moreover, WP does encourage users to write their own translations of relevant source content where none is available in the public domain (c.f. WP:OR#Translations), which suggests to me that such links may not be in violation of the spirit of the law on WP. At least I hope so.

(For an example of what I've been doing, check out the external links section on T. H. Parry-Williams.)

Advice? Suggestions? Dismissals? Szfski (talk) 04:08, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

The non-commercial nature of your site doesn't change anything. I know it's hard for most people to understand, but that's the way the guidelines are written. However, your contributions are very welcome. I don't see any conflict of interest if you don't link to your own site. Are you willing to post your translations to Wikisource? Once there, they can be linked to articles with no problem. Another benefit is that if a reader finds an error in your translation, he or she can fix it on Wikisource. While I have full faith that your translations are of the highest quality, it's best if we treat everyone the same. --UncleDouggie (talk) 07:33, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Here are a few more inks you might need: Interlanguage links Adding English texts. --UncleDouggie (talk) 07:45, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Many thanks. From the cursory glance I just took, I think that Wikisource is more appropriate for literal, word-by-word translations (rather than my creative attempts to translate poems as poems.) I will, however, start preparing literal versions and add them to Wikisource where I think them appropriate. Szfski (talk) 14:34, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm not an expert on Wikisource by any means. I suggest you post a question over there about the unique problems of poetry translation and see what they say. --UncleDouggie (talk) 11:46, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
I have only had a very quick look, so my view may not be accurate, however I would say that you are a valuable contributor (reading your message here shows that), but there is a problem because your blog has just over 50 links on Wikipedia (LinkSearch). If you have added each of these, that would definitely be considered linkspam and a COI (although, if done over an extended period, and if done in compliance with the guidelines/policies, and if helpful to Wikipedia, the links may be justified). Normally, the proper way to add links is to add useful information to an article, and add the link in a properly formatted reference to a reliable source. I gather (from my very quick look) that your site is showing translations of poems, so there may not be much information that could be added to an article. The way to handle WP:COI is to have another established editor add the link. Johnuniq (talk) 10:26, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Ah, yes, I did add all of those links. Should I then remove them and re-propose them on talk pages, or just leave them be and give fair warning on said talk pages? I did consider going on the talk-pages first, but many (though not all) of the articles I edited (such as T.H. Parry-Williams and Ausiàs March) describe a poet who is almost unknown (and undeservedly so) in the Anglophone world, and therefore don't even have much of a talk page to speak of, to say nothing of dedicated English-speaking editors. Szfski (talk) 14:34, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Since you are being open about the situation, no I would not recommend that you remove what you have done unless someone asks for that. Particularly since you posted at WT:WikiProject Poetry, other editors have been notified and can assess the situation if wanted, and your links are not like many low-value pages that I have seen added to Wikipedia. However, I think you should avoid adding new links. Johnuniq (talk) 11:27, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
You might leave notes at the relevant article talk pages to let other editors know that you're connected to the link and that you posted it yourself before you were aware that this might not be a good idea, and that you're open to whatever other editors decide to do about the link.
For the future, of course, the best thing is to suggest a link to your website on the article's talk page instead of adding it yourself. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:40, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

links to research study


My name is Andreas Keller, I'm a researcher at NYU Medical Center. I set up a research study (approved by the NYU Institutional Review Board) in which affected individuals can report their experiences with problems with their sense of smell online. These individuals usually do not consider changes in their sense of smell to be important enough to see a doctor, but they will go online. There is therefore a lack of information on these conditions in the medical literature. I added the link to the study ( to five Wikipedia entries on disturbances in the sense of smell: Anosmia, Hyposmia, Dysosmia, Parosmia, Hyperosmia

Themfromspace ( deleted the links and pointed me to the guidelines on external links. I'm not sure if he is right. Clearly the link does not provide "additional information", since it is a link to an interactive site, however, there is no website or product or personal vanity promotion going on. So, is it okay to put the links back up or not? Thanks! Andreas —Preceding unsigned comment added by Andreaskeller (talkcontribs) 20:57, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

While your effort seems well-intended, this particular link doesn't really fit with the overall goals of an encyclopedia, which is to provide readers with information, not to point them towards studies they might participate in. If your project has pages with detailed information about Anosmia, etc., beyond what is already in our articles, then links to those pages might be appropriate, even if they also happen to mention the opportunity to participate in a study. But just a link to a pure recruitment page for the study doesn't seem sufficiently relevant. --RL0919 (talk) 22:07, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
Andreas, has this study receieved any coverage from a news organization or in the medical literature? If so, it might be appropriate to mention the study in body of the article itself. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:17, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
I see. Thanks for the quick replies. I'll keep it out of Wikipedia for now and when the study gets more traction and it seems appropriate to mention it in the body of the article, I will do that. Thanks, Andreas —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:08, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
These kinds of links are deprecated by WP:MEDMOS#External_links #5. Wikipedia is not an advertising opportunity for clinical trials, no matter how noble the cause. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:37, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
I just now noticed this thread and feel obliged to post my analysis of the situation. I removed these links because surveys and the like do not provide an encyclopedic understanding of our subjects to the readers. We are an encyclopedia after all, not a data-collecting service. We should present information that informs the reader on a topic, and anything beyond the presentation of relevant information is beyond the scope of the encyclopedia. While the surveys may be useful in data-collecting, Wikipedia is not the proper place to recruit survey takers. I'm also in general agreement with the points brought up above, especially the comment by RL0919. ThemFromSpace 06:32, 18 October 2009 (UTC)


Geocities will be switched off on October 26th. , Closing FAQ

Perhaps the weblinks should be marked by bots as already dead with a future date parameter. At the moment users can still check the "old" original content and find a new one. In some cases there is an redirect to a new location. Merlissimo 22:14, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Has anything been done with this?
I'm not sure why so many links exist (aren't these largely personal websites, and thus not generally accepted as either reliable sources or external links?), but tagging them as dead seems reasonable to me. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:48, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Some of the links may qualify in some way, such as convenience links to a published reliable source that has been reprinted by the author on their personal website, or external links to a unique resource created by an amateur enthusiast. But probably a lot of them are guideline violations. They'll all be dead soon regardless. I'm not sure there is anything that can be done systematically other than to mark them dead. Some of them might be available on archive sites, others not (although the FAQ from Yahoo says that is trying to archive as many as possible); some sites might be relocated elsewhere, others not. Quite a few probably should just be removed because they shouldn't have been used in the first place. I don't know that there is any good way to handle this other than examining the links individually. --RL0919 (talk) 03:39, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
There is a special page from
On dewiki about 30% of all links are not archived at wayback or webcite. (german law bars me from reporting those links) Merlissimo 04:57, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree with RL0919 that the links need individual review. Posting future dated dead link templates isn't such a great idea. Anyone who checks the link will see that it's still alive and not understand what needs to be done. I'm going to see if User:DeadLinkBOT can help us out here by posting notices on all affected talk pages. It's going to take an army to attack this problem, especially to get it done before the deadline. I have no desire to get my edit count into 5 digits by the end of the month. Proposed notice for use by the bot:
== Loss of linked page(s) on Geocities ==
This article contains one or more references or links to, which will be switched off on October 26, 2009. Editors are requested to immediately review these links. Links that meet the current WP:External links or WP:Reliable sources guidelines should be redirected to an archived version of the material on either the Wayback Machine or WebCite. If no archive currently exists for a reference, make a free request to have WebCite create one. For external links, the Wayback machine is also currently accepting special requests for geocities pages. Links that do not comply with our current guidelines should be removed.
--UncleDouggie (talk) 05:29, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Regardless, of whether or not a link meets the current external links guidelines, and even if someone is going to remove a GeoCities link from wikipedia, as netizens we still have a civic duty to submit those GeoCities URLs ( to the Internet Archive. Even if I personally find a particular link irrelevant or duplicative in an article, it does not mean that the link may not hold value for someone else where could also be linked elsewhere. Even seemingly meaningless links may very well have value to future researchers looking at past internet culture.
---Tothwolf (talk) 06:31, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
There are already 700000 geocities sites listed here for use by the archive team. They have their hands full. I think requesting the pages we really need is good enough. --UncleDouggie (talk) 07:27, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
About the proposed text: The recommendation for switching ==External links== to an archived version might be undesirable. Many editors oppose including archived websites in this section. On the other hand, redrafting the text to deal with that issue might be more hassle than the potential problem is really worth.
Also, based on a very small sample size, a non-trivial proportion of the links may already be dead. We might need to remind editors that dead links to WP:Reliable sources do not automatically invalidate its use as a source. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:52, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
If the source is published elsewhere, such as a paper article, it certainly can stay. However, if the only publication was on a website and no alternative exists, it would seem to be unverifiable and should be removed. Which policy states otherwise? Note that User:WebCiteBOT is attempting to prevent these problems, but it has a massive backlog to process.
I agree on the problem with linking to an archived source – I was part of that lengthy discussion – but I don't know what else to do in the short-term. An instant army can only handle so many instructions and I don't really want to find 5000 new messages on my talk page tomorrow. --UncleDouggie (talk) 08:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

I raised this issue at WP:Village pump (proposals) at the beginning of October, and Thaddeus B and others answered in some detail. Unfortunately, the thread's already gone into the archive due to inactivity, but shouldn't be hard to retrieve. I also asked Thaddeus without getting a reply if it would be putting a general request for help on Template:Cent. Apparently WebCiteBot2 is operating, but I'd like some confirmation. In addition, Encarta's site is going down on Hallowe'en (October 31, 2009). Trouble with MSN Groups (died earlier) and GeoCities is that a host of other possible hosts exist besides the WebArchive, and we need to find out which (especially hard when the site-creator's inactive and may have done nothing.) When I dig up the old thread, I'll post it here. —— Shakescene (talk) 10:46, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

See: Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 53#When GeoCities shuts down, how should we handle links to its sites? and an immediately succeeding subsection, Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 53#Another fly in the ointment or spanner in the works: Encarta. —— Shakescene (talk) 10:55, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

As noted by Shakescene, WebCiteBOT is about to tackle these soon to be dead links. The modified version of the code has been approved and is being tested locally currently. This means the necessary archives are being made, but the wiki text is being modified yet as I work out any formatting oddities caused by the code modification. I expect to start making live edits later today.
There are 24677 GeoCites links to archive in all (talk & user page links aren't being archived). So far it appears about 3-5% of these are already dead, which is not considerably different than the general dead link rate. The bot won't be able to fix these but will mark them with {{dead link}}. Some may be manually recoverable by finding where the site moved to.
After it has finished with the 24k enwiki links, the next task is go through as many other Wikipedias as possible and make archives for non-duplicate links. Since it doesn't have approval to run (and wouldn't work without modification anyway) elsewhere, it will be making archives for these links, but not writing anything on wiki at this time. Hopefully, I will have the time to modify the bot to link these up eventually, but at least they will exist this way (and can be manually linked to by humans if needed). --ThaddeusB (talk) 13:39, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
P.S. WebCiteBOT does indeed have a massive backlog. However, it will be archiving only GeoCities links and then only Encarta links, so that won't be a factor (other than causing the main backlog to expand even more in the meantime.) --ThaddeusB (talk) 13:46, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

There was also a thread on this in April at Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Archive191#GeoCities_is_shutting_down. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:23, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

EL meet verifiable/reliable standards... or not?

Resolved: TVRage.Com of which is being asked, is restricted per Restrictions on linking #2, continued debate is moot.1 2 --Hu12 (talk) 18:44, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

When discussing ELs and the insertion of a new EL, it is stated here that "There are plenty of other Reliable and Verifiable alternatives available." And again concerning the insertion of an EL, "The threshold for inclusion is verifiability, whether material has already been published by a "Verifiable Reliable Source". However, here it is stated that ELs are "not considered a self-published source, because it's not used as a source." These seem contradictory. Do ELs need to meet verifiability standards as a source to warrant inclusion? Please note I'm not here to dispute the blacklisting/rejection of the EL in question on other grounds, or pit one editor/staff member against another: just trying to get a clarification on this one point and was told to bring it here. --Gadflyr (talk) 01:19, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

ELs aren't sources so they don't need to meet the same standards as a something used as one. Of course, if an EL has a lot of false info, then it's a good reason to disclude it, but providing it fits with the guidelines otherwise, nothing says they have to be verifiable or whatever. We link to a lot of wikis, after all. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 02:04, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
"Unreliable" external links are specifically permitted under WP:ELMAYBE #4 "Sites which fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources." But see also WP:ELNO #2, "Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research, except to a limited extent in articles about the viewpoints which such sites are presenting." The appropriate balance between these points is found through discussion with the other regular editors at the article in question. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:32, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
I believe that the site in question fails WP:ELNO #1 because it has largely the same material as the article. --UncleDouggie (talk) 06:14, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
UncleDouggie? Which site and which article?--Gadflyr (talk) 06:55, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
Whoops. Your link above was incorrect, so I searched and found a similar topic that I dug into and to which my comment applied. Please ignore it. Here is the corrected link that you had intended. There's way too much history there for me to get in the middle of. --UncleDouggie (talk) 08:05, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the responses, everyone. --Gadflyr (talk) 06:55, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Concert databases (e.g. Songkick)

I've noticed that very few articles on musical artists, venues, and ongoing music festivals contain external links providing supplementary data on live performances. Much as IMDb would be used for television and film performers (though I understand IMDb's inclusion is often contentious), I'm wondering if concert databases would be a useful external link to add where applicable (e.g. articles on bands which never toured would not be germane). One such resource, Songkick, has already been added in such a capacity to Shirley Manson and Glastonbury Festival. I work for Songkick, however, and obviously have a vested interest in the matter, so I can't make any edits directly no matter how relevant and useful I think they may be (and in fact wouldn't even have thought of it had we not been alerted by referral traffic that links had already been added to those aforementioned articles). I'd like to understand how sites like ours fit into the EL guidelines as I suspect they may qualify under point #3 of the ELYES policy but am far from certain. After asking on several individual talk pages I was directed here, where I hope I can get a consensus opinion and stop pestering editors article by article. I'd appreciate any thoughts on the matter. Thanks, Michaelorland (talk) 14:44, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

I know you are aware of the situation, but I need to start my reply by alerting other readers that while undoubtedly you are well intentioned, you have spammed essentially the same question to the talk pages of 56 articles. I did not check in detail, but it looks like you have inserted links to your web site in each case (some have been removed). I saw one positive response (there may have been more), but several other replies were negative; I noticed four different editors who said they thought the link proposed for the particular article was not helpful. I have looked at a couple of the songkick pages myself and while I'm sure they are great for their purpose, they are just typical music pages where a web site (songkick) is attempting to establish its presence. The pages do not satisfy WP:EL and the comment here put it well. Johnuniq (talk) 07:32, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
First off, apologies for spamming all the talk pages.
  1. I thought I'd have a better chance of receiving feedback if I asked in more than one artist article (in this respect I was all too right, to my detriment)
  2. despite reading WP:EL thoroughly I neglected to notice the link to this article
  3. as this noticeboard isn't even two months old yet I was unaware of it from previous Wikipedia usage
  4. the external links in each talk page question were intended as honest examples to help substantiate my inquiry, not to generate traffic (though I realize now how it looks) - if I'd really wanted to generate traffic hopefully I would have been a lot smarter and slimier
Of course these reasons don't excuse the behavior (though I hope they help explain it), and again, I'm sorry for it. Thankfully it was remedied swiftly.
Now that, after a bit of pain and embarrassment, I've found the right place to discuss my original issue I'd like to respond to some of the points raised here and elsewhere. Again, I work for Songkick, and that should be kept in mind throughout. Ultimately what I'm looking to do here is fully understand (maybe even help to clarify) the consensus around external links to databases and other factual references. The EL policy is very well structured but inevitably some ambiguities creep in when discussing semantics.
  1. case-by-case applicability: some editors pointed out, as Johnuniq noted, that they felt the live performance information for a particular artist was unhelpful. This is completely fair, and I would expect that regardless of whether a database is deemed useful in general that its relevance in each specific case be considered.
  2. many of the comments centered around the role of user contributions to the Songkick database. In our case we pull concert information from what we consider highly-reliable sources such as ticket vendors and events venues, and let users amend, revise, or delete them as necessary, so our particular database is user-generated in a very small way. More generally (since I don't want to make this entirely about Songkick), at what level is user contribution considered to have tainted the reliability of a source? I know it's been discussed ad nauseam, but IMDb, for example, is present in a huge proportion of actor, director, etc. articles despite a heavy reliance on user submissions and in-house data managers. Can concerns about user tainting be addressed through more transparent collection methodology (in our case the original source of a concert can be viewed on that concert's page)?
  3. what amount of manual and/or automated editorial oversight is required for sufficient neutrality and accuracy?
  4. finally, since this is a forum for discussing specific examples: besides questions of data-sourcing (and my inappropriate outreach on the talk pages yesterday) what else about Songkick appears not to satisfy ELYES?
Our opinion at Songkick is that Wikipedia has a good handle on what constitutes reliable information. If we and other reference sources can, by making our collection processes more transparent or updating them accordingly, show that we satisfy WP:RS and WP:EL criteria then we're helping Wikipedia editors, our users, and the broader net community in general. Sorry if that seems a little pompous and obsequious, but it's true. Thanks and apologies again for the spammy way of initially approaching this. Michaelorland (talk) 14:12, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

You'll have to fill me in here. I just did a quick browse, almost random click, and ended up here at Sonic Youth. This is going to sound a bit negative, sorry.

I see there 17 upcoming concerts and 1251 past concerts, the next concert, a link to the gigography, some pictures, and a recent-activity list. None of that I would find really useful for an external link, as I don't see that information as particularly encyclopeadic, nor as a suitable reference (we can't say here: Sonic Youth have 17 upcoming concerts, as that sentence, though referenced, would change every day).

Upcoming concerts gives a list of 17 concerts, past concerts gives 1251 .. neither would be useful as encyclopaedic information. If I look at a specific concert, it merely lists who was there, and where it was. Also not really encyclopaedic.

If I go to a festival (is a bad example, only had Sonic Youth (is that list complete?), but this is better as it had more artists. Still it does not give any information we could use.

Here and there I see user submitted reviews, which are also not usable here.

I see that this is useful information, but I am not sure if it is usable in Wikipedia. I may have browsed the wrong pages, but do you have more information elsewhere, or professional reviews (i.e., by people that actually work for the site and where the reviews get 'reviewed' before they get published)? Otherwise, I think that this site would not be of a regular use, just maybe for some occasional exceptions. I hope this explains. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:43, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Since when does an EL have to contian "encylopedic information"? It's supposed to contain MORE info, yes, but very often it's linked for the specific point that we can't include its info in WP. And I for one would say a database of past concerts is pretty encyclopedic. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 16:21, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, that was not the way I meant it. I was looking at it from both views, can it be used as an external link or as a reference. As an external link adding a list of past concerts is might add, indeed, though it depends then if it is not also available from the official page of the subject. --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:32, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
The data we're collecting varies in quality and quantity for each artist, which is why relevance for inclusion should certainly be decided on a case-by-case basis. Examples that would perhaps be more favorable are our Radiohead gigography and Bob Dylan gigography, which have complete lists of their concerts since the beginning, and of those concerts many have original media (e.g. posters) and/or links to external reviews (e.g. news or music publications), and all of which are structured to include date, location, venue, supporting acts, and other basic metadata.
From a reference perspective I could see the use to editors trying to pinpoint first concerts, first worldwide tours, and similar milestones of note... and there are probably some other uses that I haven't thought of yet - this doesn't even touch upon venue information, for example. Re: upcoming concerts I don't think they are particularly relevant to editors (with some minor exceptions, such as providing a tour date for a band reunion or something like that).
From an EL perspective I think the encyclopedic bar is a bit lower and the case for inclusion even better, but again I am not impartial on the matter.
We do have an element of the site that goes well beyond pure data-gathering, which can be distracting, such as the activity feeds Dirk mentioned. Hopefully by utilizing/linking only the factually-valuable sections of the site those distractions can be eliminated. - Michaelorland (talk) 17:24, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Here are my thoughts, which generally add up to "not actually banned, except perhaps as an open wiki":

  • I see no fundamental difference between a list of past concerts by a professional artist and a list of past games played by a professional athlete. Websites that count the number of hits, dropped balls, and whatever else baseball players might do in a game are why WP:ELYES #3 exists.
  • As an incomplete database, pages must be evaluated individually, as everyone here seems to have agreed. Only those that are high-quality (e.g., reasonably complete) should be considered for links.
  • The open wiki aspect is a possible problem. Songkick could safely assume that some Wikipedia editors would require every single change to be reviewed. Others will be satisfied with an indication that >10-100 registered editors make changes on the site each day.
  • A 'ruling' of "not actually banned by WP:EL" does not mean that it's okay to add any given link to any particular article. There are many, many thousands of websites that are "not actually banned" as external links and that Wikipedia still doesn't choose to provide links to in any given article.

As a side note, in the future, I'd consider it a kindness (to me) if editors wouldn't immediately remove disputed links from articles listed as examples in an honest question on this board. Letting the link persist for another day or two surely isn't that harmful. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:28, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Invalid interlanguage links

The article Minor characters in Back to the Future films talks about various characters from the movie BTTF. Since August 4, bots have been adding an IL to a translated article that only talks about the dog Einstein. Not only the dog isn't even mentionned in the original article, but it's the ONLY character this so-called translated article talks about. I always revert it and mentionned several times that WP:IL states that the article must be translated to "nearly equivalent or exactly equivalent pages". This translation is far from being even nearly equivalent.

I've sent a notice to the owner, but a different bot came back a couple of weeks later to do it again. I don't know what to do at this point. Should I let it through? -- Lyverbe (talk) 11:40, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

At the moment fr:Einstein (Retour vers le futur), it:Personaggi minori di Ritorno al futuro and ru:Герои трилогии «Назад в будущее» have interwikis to your article. You also have to remove the interwikis at the foreign project (frwiki in your case). Otherwise the fr interlanguage links will always be added again.
(I have found a page describing your problem only on at dewiki: de:Wikipedia:Wie funktioniert ein Interwiki-Link-Bot?). Merlissimo 18:48, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Interesting! I removed the link and we'll see if that does the trick. Thanks! -- Lyverbe (talk) 11:38, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Ecco Pro

Is the linking as here appropriate? I have removed it, but I seem to disagree with another editor about this and further language in that document. --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:15, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

We have just been overlapping because while you were cleaning the article I was composing a long comment (Talk:Ecco Pro#Cleanup) where I pointed out that the article has no reliable sources (apart from a couple of fond mentions without much content). In short, you are correct, and the linking and language in the older version was not appropriate. Johnuniq (talk) 07:00, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Indeed were inappropriate links. You didn't see citations to sources because Beetstra removed them. This is a little irritating, for example in effort to improve article personally spent a good deal of time to track down reliable soruce of pricing historically for product. Beetstra has some kind of agenda so he repeatedly removed the historic pricing info and the reference. Am not sure what the issue is with this and going through item by item would take too long, just a couple expamples. To me it looks like vandalism of the article in subtle and not so subtle ways. An example Beetstra reverts the *working* internal wiki link to 'NetManage' to an dead link. Why in the world would anyone do that ?
Also, many statements in article need references and *had* credible references. Beetstra removed the references. If the article states that a certain format is supported, eg., RTF or whatever, if possible the article should site a source supporting. If the article claims users feel this or that, the article should support the assertion with a citation reference that supports.
Also basic things, like link to official (non-pay) usergroup is listed as appropriate per wikiguidelines. Clearly, and I support efforts to remove inappropriate links link inserted to pay to join sites are clearly adverts and have no place in the wiki. Whereas, links which CITE to references to support the textual assertion of the article are important to keep the wiki a serious reference work. If the wiki makes a statement, such as this software has X capabiltiy, there should be a reference to a source supporting that statement (where possible). YSWT (talk) 11:06, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Incorrect: I saw all the links that were in the article because I was working on the 01:25, 23 October 2009 version (before Beetstra's cleanup). That version contained 41 external links (one of which was to the competing product and was not a clickable link). After removing duplicates, the 29 domains for the 41 pages are:
Of these, the reliable sources like only have brief mentions of the software (sufficient to establish notability, but only enough material for about two short paragraphs). Johnuniq (talk) 23:45, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
  • In terms of the external links issues, this article was a mess. At minimum, the "ongoing community support" links are a clear violation of WP:EL's formatting rules.
    In terms of the reliable source issues, I suggest that you take the question to WP:RSN if you're unable to resolve things on the article's talk page. Supporters are cautioned that I expect RSN regulars to be likely to agree with Johnuniq's assessment: those are, at a glance, pretty weak sources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:36, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Syntax conflict for ext. link

I just had to remove an external link from the 7th reference on the Cantarell Field page because it has characters that are used in wiki syntax.[tt_news]=77221&cHash=603ca8de99

Is there any way to include a working link? - Shiftchange (talk) 12:21, 25 October 2009 (UTC)[tt_news]=77221&cHash=603ca8de99: Merlissimo 15:07, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Persisent linker on The Wire

Hope this is the right noticeboard. I've reverted this anon user's additions twice, but keeps on adding. Avoiding wp:3rr. Basically, the user is linking to a non-notable blog and a contest. Example [12]. I posted on user's talk page to try to explain about wp:rs and wp:n, but it apparently didn't sink in. [13]

I feel the addition of the external link and content pertains to #4 and #11 of WP:ELNO. It's a non-notable blog and also promotion for their "contest". Also there are lots of copyvios on the site (youtubes, photos, etc).

Thank you --Omarcheeseboro (talk) 18:11, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes, you're right: That shouldn't be included. It's possible that it might (technically) not be an WP:EL issue, because it's being used to support article content, but it's not acceptable under any of Wikipedia's standard.
If the anon doesn't stop, please request semi-protection (at WP:RFPP) for the page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:47, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

persistent linking to own site

Matheisf (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · blacklist hits · AbuseLog · what links to user page · count · COIBot · user page logs · x-wiki · status · Edit filter search · Google · StopForumSpam) if you check the user's contributions, this appears to be a single-purpose account: he/she's adding a link to his/her own website to multiple articles it's only marginally relevant to. friendly talk-page advice/warnings have only escalated the misunderstandings. if anyone feels like assisting with educating this person about the relevant Wikipedia policies, that would be great - thanks. Sssoul (talk) 11:37, 31 October 2009 (UTC) request for intervention with the communication/civility aspects moved to WP:WQA - thanks Sssoul (talk) 16:29, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

These links fail WP:ELNO, as not being directly linked (and possibly more, does information on the site actually add to our pages?). Moreover, seeing e.g. the addition to Howlin' Wolf (diff, as far as I can see is there no page on Burnett (seeing the list on the left on the page linked, and this search for Burnett). Editor should be very strictly be advised to read the external links guideline, the spam guideline (especially WP:PROMO), and What wikipedia is not policy, and I would also suggest that the editor contacts a suitable Wikipedia:WikiProject and wait for their verdict before proceeding with addition of more links. --Dirk Beetstra T C 17:55, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree. All the pages I looked at for particular artists on that site were simple bios, no more than what we would expect in our own articles. So even if they were linked directly to the relevant page (where one exists), they would still fail WP:ELNO #1, for not providing anything that shouldn't be in the article itself. If there are pages with information that might warrant a link (things like detailed discographies, photo galleries, interviews, etc.), ideally someone affiliated with the site shouldn't be the one placing them. --RL0919 (talk) 18:13, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Maxi Priest

Hi, the webmaster of has inquired as to whether her site can be reinstated on the Maxi Priest page. Relevant discussion can be found on my talkpage. I'd like to request those who comment to refrain from commenting on the webmaster's conflict of interest and look only at the external link's validity and relevance to the article. I'd like to know if this link, which is arguably superior to the official sites, can be allowed. Thanks. ɳOCTURNEɳOIR talk // contribs 03:40, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

In addition to being a self-published free site by a fan (or at least as I could tell, not someone known in the field of music biography, or a professional writer, researcher, or anything like), I have some basic concerns. With the inclusion of lyrics and songs, is WP:ELNEVER #1 being violated? Possibly. Next, there is a lack of sourcing, verifiability (and reliability) to the text of the site. Finally, I have concerns about the accessibility of the site. I mean, first being a design snob, I hate to see centered, italicized body text, and using headers and font stylings inappropriately (need I mention 323 W3C validation errors). But additionally, the use of images without alt tags for navigation purposes renders the page inaccessible to some users with disabilities, and some mobile user. Yes, I personally do not think the webpage looks at all professional, and seems like an annoying, amateur, web 1.0 creation. Perhaps this is biasing my judgment, but I'd prefer not to link to the site for the above 3 reasons (1 possibly copyright issues, 2 lack of verifiability, 3 poor web design). -Andrew c [talk] 00:41, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
I think Andrew's concern about a WP:COPYLINK violation is critically important. If the text of the copyrighted lyrics (and the photos, and everything else) is not legally licensed, then the link cannot be used anywhere on Wikipedia.
Andrew's second complaint is minor (WP:EL does not require external websites to comply with WP:V), and his third -- although I see what he's saying -- doesn't really worry me nearly as much as the WP:ELNEVER copyright problem. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:11, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I admitted 3 was my bias. However, 2 related to WP:ELMAYBE #4 "Sites which fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources." My concern was mainly the "knowledgeable sources" part. Thanks for agreeing with 1!-Andrew c [talk] 01:54, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Linking to an author's syndicated column

(Copied from Wikipedia_talk:External_links#Linking_to_an_author.27s_syndicated_column per advise there.) When are external links to an person's syndicated column appropriate for the External links section of the person's Wikipedia biography? example

While cleaning up the spamming of by Chilangringo (talk · contribs), Projectsyndicate (talk · contribs), and (talk · contribs) I encountered a discussion here on the links added by Chilangringo. Spamming aside, there's the question of how useful and appropriate such links are for biographies. One editor brought up ELNO#11, but I don't think applies because the external link is to a work by the subject of the biography, rather than about the person. Another editor brought up ELYES #1 and #2, but these are not official sites and there is no other mention in the biography that the person has this syndicated column. --Ronz (talk) 00:35, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

The first thing I would say is that if the subject has a syndicated newspaper column, then it seems odd for that to go unmentioned within the body of the article. Leaving that aside, this situation doesn't seem to fall clearly into any of the specific rules in the EL guideline. However, the spirit of WP:ELOFFICIAL is to include non-redundant links to the subject's own content, when that content is related to the subject's notability. A syndicated column may not quite meet the definition of an official site, but it is clearly content created by the subject. So if the subject has no official website within the definition provided by the guideline, but does have a syndicated column, a link to the column seems appropriate. That said, in the specific example linked above (Robert Skidelsky, Baron Skidelsky), he does have an official website. That site already reproduces his articles, so the link to the column provides no unique content. I suspect this will be the case more commonly than not. --RL0919 (talk) 15:11, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

External links & malware

I'm raising this issue here on behalf of User:JakeInJoisey because no one at Talk:New Jersey gubernatorial election, 2009 has responded to his questions other than me, and frankly I could not point to the relevant policy.

The user's concern regards external links and references linking to, a reliable, well-established online news source focusing on New Jersey politics. As I've mentioned, the editor has posted his concerns at Talk:New Jersey gubernatorial election, 2009#Malware Link?, but be advised that this website is linked to/referenced not just at New Jersey gubernatorial election, 2009 but at numerous other articles. Here's the user's message:

The referenced website has been flagged by McAfee "Site Advisor" as a possible trojan distributor (IRC/Flood trojan). I'm unsure of Wikipedia policy/process as to the display of suspect links as sources both within an article and in its history and am soliciting comments from anyone versed in dealing with this type of issue.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks. A Stop at Willoughby (talk) 04:38, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

If the site is provably distributing malware, then it can be added to Wikimedia's global blacklist. The instructions there explain how to request that a site be added. (Note, though, that a single editor claiming that a problem exists doesn't constitute proof.) However, if it is a normally reliable site that has recently experienced some sort of hacking that is being dealt with, then probably there is no need for us to do anything. --RL0919 (talk) 05:58, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
While I appreciate the response, I'm not particularly inclined to "prove" this personally (whatever THAT might entail) or to have this website blacklisted. I've simply attempted to bring this possible security concern to the attention of someone, somewhere within the Wikipedia hierarchy for consideration. However, if this project is somewhat ambivalent towards these concerns (as a lack of "what to do" information appears to suggest), that's fine with me...albeit somewhat surprising given the widespread distribution of malware prevalent today on the internet. JakeInJoisey (talk) 18:09, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia doesn't have much of a "hierarchy", so I wouldn't take a lack of immediate response as a sign that the issue isn't important. This noticeboard tends to get more reports about COI and relevance issues than about malware, so I've posted a message at Wikipedia talk:Spam blacklist#Site possibly hosting malware to see if someone there can give us feedback about this site. --RL0919 (talk) 21:08, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll be an interested observer (and participant if needs be). JakeInJoisey (talk) 22:24, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

No original research noticeboard

Editors here may be able to help with this request at WP:NORN. The question is involves a Wikipedia editor that has created an off-wiki list of his favorite dyslexia-related scientific papers. Does an external link to a collection of his favorite papers meet Wikipedia's standards? (Please comment there, not here.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:59, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Linking to full text of book

I was reading our articles on Sinclair Lewis and ran across Kingsblood Royal. Curiously it links to a full text version of the book. The info in the pdf claims it's in the public domain in Australia. A quick review of copyright law in Australia indicates they're right, but the book was published in 1947 with a copyright renewal in the United States. My understanding of WP:ELNEVER and WP:LINKVIO is that we shouldn't link to items that would be copyright violations in the country where the Wikipedia servers are located (US). Am I right or am I misreading things? --Rkitko (talk) 01:16, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

If the book is still under copyright in the United States, then the safe thing is probably not to link it due to possible "contributory infringement" issues. But since international copyrights are a complex issue, I've posted a message to Wikipedia talk:Copyright problems#Help about linking to book with unclear status, in the hope that someone with more expertise can provide additional feedback. --RL0919 (talk) 21:20, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
I concur. It's contributory infringement in the US that we need to worry about. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 21:22, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Much appreciated! Rkitko (talk) 14:19, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm on the fence about the additions added by User:Steelhead555 to pages like Lake Chabot Regional Park such as this. I just dont feel like the link adds any sort of additional information to the articles. Q T C 21:12, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

We are working on mapping every fishable body of water in the Western United States. These maps contain information and links to information that you do not have. Example: there is no information here about Lake Amador. Some of the maps, such as Lake Chabot, do not have much information but others such as Klamath River or Henrys Lakehave a wealth of information Wikipedia just doesn't have. In addition a lot if not most people are reading these Wikipedia pages researching recreational opportunities. I ask you if a full list of GPS Coordinates for nearshore pacific boaters to obtain at one place is appropriate information to provide? I will wait to see how this thread progresses before continuing. Steelhead555

I was just about to revert all of these when I came across this discussion. Because the poster's only contributions have been to place this link I think the behaviour constitutes linkspamming. I'd prefer the edits to be reverted with a warning given to stop the spamming behaviour. The links themselves have little merit as they are just google maps images which can be accessed through the locations' geographic coordinates. For example, we can already find a map of the region of Lake Davis, California by clicking on the location's coordinates. ThemFromSpace 21:53, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

No Problem;) You won't se any thing else posted by me steelhead555 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Steelhead555 (talkcontribs) 00:08, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

ConnectomeBot , semantic wiki and external links

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Resolved, Approval was declined--Hu12 (talk) 20:51, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

An editor has proposed a bot at WP:RFBA that will put external links in en.wikipedia articles to a semantic wiki on brain connectivity, ConnectomeWiki, related to the ideas and goals described in this (PDF) PLoS article.

This raises some questions that need addressed first by a wider community.

  1. The basic appropriateness of the links for wikipedia. It appears, due to the specialized nature of the topic matter, that the substantive value of the links would have to be discussed with neurology or physician editors. Should the quality of the underlying links be discussed at WT:WikiProject Neuroscience, WT:WikiProject Anatomy, or WT:WikiProject Medicine/Neurology task force or some other place?
  2. One editor suggested the proposal appears not to "run afoul of WP:ELNO," while another user calls the links essentially SPAM to the from to the outside wiki.
  3. The editor proposing the links is doing it for a project, and describes himself/herself as a student at the Institute for Neuroinformatics in Zurich. He/she is the sole person with a stated interest in the project, so far, and has made some links already (not with a bot) from wikipedia to the ConnectomeWiki in brain articles on Wikipedia. See the links and the user's edit history.
  4. Are there additional issues that need to be discussed?

Does anyone have comments about this. I am posting this in two places (here and VPR), thus far, but it should be discussed only in one place, VPR. (Of course, if this is the wrong place, feel free to move as necessary.)

This entire conversation will be referenced when WP:BAG decides whether or not to authorize the bot, but, if you have comments about technical issues on the bot that are best addressed at BRFA, please feel free to comment there, of course. Thanks. --IP69.226.103.13 (talk) 03:15, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Discussion here.

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

External links re: Submarine cables

There's an ongoing discussion at Wikipedia:Editor assistance/Requests#Submarine cables that is really more suited to this board. Would the best method to move the discussion here be to copy(or cut)/paste the discussion to here, with a note left there that the discussion has been moved? Or to simply add a note at the bottom of that one that new posts should be over here? Or should it just be left there as that's where it started and just leave this note as a pointer to that discussion? --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 17:26, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

There are complaints of forum shopping, so keeping it there is doubtless the best choice. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:04, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Memorial sites for murder victims

What is the suggested course of action when it comes to external links in biographies of persons killed in a violent crimes? The reason I am asking is that quite a few of them have external links to "memorial sites" created by third parties with no connection to the families of the murdered. There have been a few occasions when such sites were used to collect funds in the name of the dead, where people were using the sympathies associated with child victims as a ruse to raise funds for themselves. Jessica Lunsford's father has mentioned this as a problem in interviews and has had to warn the public about sites of that type before, which is why I removed a new site from the external links section in her article recently. The new site was not functional at the time of my deletion, but it now appears as if the site is up and running and the owner of the site has reintroduced it again and also posted a message on my discussion page. I don't even feel like checking if the new site is appropriate. Could someone assist, please?

I would prefer to simply apply the same rule of thumb across the line as the one used for biographies of rock stars and movie stars--only official/authorized sites. The unofficial, commercialized "memorial sites" by private, unrelated parties that present dead children leave a really bad taste in my mouth and often leave me sceptical about the motivation. Some of the worse "memorial sites" even use gruesome autopsy pictures and publish homemade speculative articles about possible murderers in unresolved cases, etc., but a more general problem is that most of them use photos of the victim without proper attribution, which may imply that the sites' owners may not own the copyright to the pictures. There are a lot of sites of that nature about well-published cases such as Lunsford's and JonBenét Ramsey's but it appears the editors of those articles have managed to keep the External links sections pretty clean so far. But there are others. Input appreciated. Afv2006 (talk) 04:49, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes, your instincts are good on this point. A non-official site must be actively justifiable (note difference between justifiable and justified), and IMO a donation-themed site would require a lot of justification.
I've removed this link for now (it says that it's non-official, but not money-making). In the future, you can usually cite WP:ELNO #4 ("Links mainly intended to promote a website") in these instances. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:21, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! Will do. Afv2006 (talk) 09:43, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Using ownership of an aggregator link as a claim to notability

Specifically, this version of Marc Ostrofsky: [14]. I'm pretty sure that's the page subject making the edit. Anyway, he's (I think) making the point that they're such desirable addresses that his ownership of them is notable, even though the links themselves are strictly paid content. This can't ever be true, right? Also, if someone feels an urge to scan the article for neutrality in general (there are some parts that seem to go one way, some parts that seem to go the other) that would be cool too. - Richfife (talk) 01:11, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

SEP: Somebody else's problem. The names of websites owned by the individual aren't actually WP:External links and therefore the EL guideline doesn't apply.
I suggest that you {{fact|date=November 2009}} the statements. If the editor can't produce independent reliable sources -- ideally even secondary sources (e.g., a newspaper article, not a WHOIS registration) to support the facts, then their inclusion is almost certainly undue emphasis on trivia. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:37, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Linking to a wiki for pop culture references

Somewhere, I don't remember where, probably buried in a discussion page for pop culture policy proposals or on something Star Trek or South Park related, I saw a suggestion to move "in pop culture" lists to an off-site wiki — Wikia was encouraged, IIRC — and just link to that from the External Links section of an article. So I decided to experiment with that strategy, moving Roller derby in popular culture to Wikia so that it would no longer be part of the roller derby article. A link to the wiki was left in the external links section, and over the last year and a half, nobody seemed to mind. The roller derby article looked much better, having its media references restricted to research-worthy nonfiction documentaries & literature, and its external links section had a link to the Wikia page. In the meantime, I've smacked down occasional attempts to add pop culture references back in by people who didn't notice the external link, which to me indicates that people are interested in the topic. Maintenance hasn't been a big deal, and I'd say the experiment was a success.

That is, until yesterday, when User:DreamGuy twice removed the link. He stated in an edit summary, Please read WP:EL -- wikis are generally not allowed in links, and the rules on pop culture says nothing about offloading info to another site. Sorry. That's not how things are done here.

Well, of course now I can't find where the offloading suggestion came from, and I didn't make a note of it at the time, so I'm on the defensive on that point. And I've read and re-read WP:EL. It's true that links to open wikis without lots of editors are generally discouraged, but links to directories like DMOZ are generally encouraged.

Now, I was a DMOZ editor for a while, curating the roller derby links. I find it puzzling that the roller derby article's external links section can contain a link to that section of DMOZ which I alone curated, but, according to one interpretation of WP:EL, cannot contain a link to a Wikia page containing the contents of the former pop culture section, and which I alone have curated (so far). My strategy with both was to make them as comprehensive as possible, to reduce the volume of trivia edits and encourage people to focus on the rest of the article.

To me it seems like in the absence of editors willing/able to do tenacious pruning, the best course of action is simply steering the would-be adders of pop culture information to Wikia, just like steering the would-be adders of random related links to DMOZ is. As I said, it seemed to work out great; most people who care about roller derby references in pop culture wound up on Wikia, and didn't attempt to add that trivia to the article. Without the link, I feel the maintenance burden of the roller derby article is just going to increase for no good reason. I'm also not a fan of hit-and-run deletions like this; I'm doubtful he really intends to stick around and deal with the fallout.

So I guess my question is, should I continue to challenge his removal of the link to Wikia? And if yes, does that have any ramifications for the WP:EL or whatever pop culture guidelines are now in effect, if any? —mjb (talk) 07:58, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Two non-bot editors is probably not sufficient to claim that it meets the usual size-and-stability requirements for an open wiki.
There's something to be said for WP:COMMONSENSE, though, and WP:ELNO is not WP:ELNEVER. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:00, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree with WhatamIdoing: In general, we do not link to a wiki, but the case presented by mjb looks convincing that this is a reasonable exception (i.e. add the link to wikia). Johnuniq (talk) 23:40, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Popular culture articles are part of Wikipedia. There is no need to offload this content onto another site because DreamGuy is right, thats not how things are done here. They can be done correctly, without the need for listcruft. ELNO states "12. Links to open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors. Mirrors or forks of Wikipedia should not be linked." -- ErgoSumtalktrib 22:08, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
"It's right because it's how things are done; RTFM" is neither a rationale nor a rebuttal to any of the points raised above, so I'll rephrase:
A list of pop culture references to an article's topic is contentious for inclusion, as is a list of general links to sites related to any article's topic, presumably for the same reasons. WP:EL says it's fine to offload the general links to, say, the ODP (which is arguably in the same league as a wiki or blog), and just link to them. But for some reason it's not OK to offload the "in popular culture" list to another wiki. The only reasoning given so far for deletion of the link has been "because WP:EL says so".
DreamGuy says the list can just be included directly, but only if it's kept extremely short. But we tried that (at hit-and-run deletionist User:Kaldari's behest in 2006), and all it does is enforce an arbitrary standard of notability, and the end result is it just builds right back up again, and even the stuff we find 'notable' is still regarded by some as just a bunch of useless trivia.
This isn't just speculation; we tried it and found that by linking to a comprehensive list, the maintenance burden is minimized, people who care about that stuff find what they're looking for, the article remains free of contentious cruft, there are no arguments over the notability of some of the items in the list, and everyone concentrates on the more important aspects of the article & its related topics in Wikipedia instead of e.g. attempting to reintroduce the same pop culture references or having to police and argue with people over those attempts. So why, besides "WP:EL says so", is this such a terrible idea? —mjb (talk) 00:21, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
I've asked DreamGuy to please share with us which (the trivia section or the link) is, in his opinion, the least objectionable choice for the encyclopedia. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:17, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. The other day, on Talk:Roller derby#Whip It and the old Pop Culture section, he said "A short section on the most notable aspects of roller derby in popular culture is a good idea for this article. Emphasis on short and notable, not just whatever trivia someone thinks up." My position is that a short list is too much trouble to police; for me, the choice is either a complete list or a link to one. I prefer the link. —mjb (talk) 03:11, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
If DreamGuy prefers integrating it -- and by "prefers", I mean "is volunteering to maintain it indefinitely himself", not just to demand that some other volunteer do it -- then I'd be perfectly satisfied with that outcome, too. But perhaps he'd prefer one of the other two options, since his time and energy is likely as limited as yours and mine. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:09, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
His only response was "Not the outside wiki, that's for sure. It's just spam for s [sic] site we have no control over and which has no established reliability." …which, after you and I both invited him to participate here, suggests to me he has no interest in maintaining anything or even acknowledging this discussion. —mjb (talk) 03:31, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I've pretty much given up arguing with anyone who feels discussion is useless, or that whatever !consensus we come up with at the time is fraudulent. Popular culture is a hot topic and people tend to take it personally. The problem is there is too much disagreement over pop culture, and those who don't like it seem to develop a particular hatred for it, as if it was ruining WP. I prefer the short list of "most notable" as opposed to the complete compendium of every mention of the word "chamomile" ever uttered. Who knows what is the current standard for inclusion? But that doesn't mean the list cannot be left to aid future improvement. --ErgoSumtalktrib 21:08, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

(unindented) Short lists are nice, I agree, but after giving it some more thought, I feel that the lack of consensus & clear standards for which kinds of "in popular culture" / fiction / music references are 'notable' enough for inclusion means that we have to either have a tersely worded but fairly comprehensive list that readers can filter themselves, or nothing at all; we presently have no resources to standardize and enforce anything in between. I'm willing to try leaving the content out entirely, but I don't see how it's desirable to have the distraction of needing to undo attempts to re-add the material. So the questions are simply: 1. Do we include a comprehensive list, or nothing at all, and 2. If we include such a list, do we do it directly in the article (already proven to attract criticism), do we put it in a separate article (precedents do exist), or do we leave it on a separate wiki that we link to despite DreamGuy's objections?

If I understand DreamGuy's position, it's that an external link to a wiki is intolerable, despite all the points made above, and I anticipate he's just going to trot out WP:3RR at the earliest opportunity if I try to restore the link to Wikia. His position seems to be based entirely on speculation over precedent rather than skepticism of the actual content that has been collected so far. I have little sympathy for this approach and the disregard it shows for both readers and editors, but what can I do? Can I point to this conversation and his refusal to acknowledge the flexibility of the policy as a reason to let the link to the external wiki stand in this instance, even though it disturbs the strongly policy & precedent-minded so greatly? Or is there support for putting the content in a separate article on Wikipedia? —mjb (talk) 00:20, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Links to wikis on specific topics are of great use. When a Wikipedia page gets a little too long and veers a little too far away from material of general interest, as an editor, a link to a topical wiki makes it so much easier for me to shift and sort information to in-detail pages on the external wiki. Without an external wiki link, my options are expanding an already long article or deleting good but too-detailed info, and I'm likely not to bother. That external wikis are discouraged as "ELNO with exceptions", rather than encouraged as what they really are -- ELMAYBE with conditions -- is a shame. Matt Fitzpatrick (talk) 00:25, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

"Aesthetic Realism is a cult"

Aesthetic Realism is a small group based in New York City. It sees itself as a philosophical assocation, while some outsiders and former members consider it a cult. In addition to an offial website, members of the group have created many personal webpages about it. A former member has also created a critical website, Aesthetic Realism is a cult. External links to these pages have been a cause of contention. I've proposed to involved editors that only the one official link be listed in the EL section. The webmaster of the critical site believes that his site belongs in the listing. His website includes hard-to-find press clippings and advertisements placed by the group over the years. He contends that the materials are used by permission or are fair use (and so are not copyright violations), and that the site does not count as a personal website because it does not concern personal matters. I'm posting this here to get views from uninvolved editors.   Will Beback  talk  02:58, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Is there any way to link to the encyclopedic material without going through this particular site? If not, is there any way of linking directly to the site's valuable material in a way which bypasses the contentious material? ThemFromSpace 03:12, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
I believe it would be legitimate to link directly to the press articles that are reprinted with permission. Those can be used as sources, so there's no need to place them in the EL section. I've asked the webmaster/editor to add his own comments here, so I won't say more until he posts.   Will Beback  talk  04:30, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
Thank you Will for the very fair summary of the issue. The site in question has a plethora of valuable information so it would seem awkward for the External Links section to zero in on one particular page of the site. I think above all, Wikipedia should be flexible and consider the ultimate effect on the article of the decision. Overly-rigid adherence to policy can wind up being a disservice to an encyclopedia's users--not that I'm convinced that listing the site in question violates policy. The site in question is simply the most comprehensive treatment of the subject in question, with a considerable number of original source documents, including newspaper articles, scans of advertisements from major newspapers, statements by former members, and transcripts of an actual lesson, consultation, and secret meeting within the group. In short, it's the most helpful resource available anywhere to someone who wants more information on the subject. Wikipedia therefore does a favor to the encyclopedia reader by pointing the reader to it, and the article is weaker when the link to the excellent resource is withheld. I agree that "Wikipedia is not a directory" but two links hardly qualifies as such. There's a huge divide between a directory and a set of 2-3 links, which includes the most comprehensive site on the topic in existence. MichaelBluejay (talk) 14:55, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
Have you maximized (within reason) the use of this site's resources as a way to improve the Wikipedia article by using it as a reliable source to support content in the article? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:27, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Will BeBack that the site does not belong in EL. Aside from being self-published, to call it “the most comprehensive treatment of the subject in question” is like calling the National Enquirer “the most credible news source.” Its sole purpose is to smear Aesthetic Realism and discredit the people associated with it through posting yellow-journalism articles and anonymously authored anecdotes. It should be kept where it is, as a reference link to the "allegation of a cult" sentence in the lead, along with its counter link to "Friends of Aesthetic Realism" so that people can read both sides and make up their own mind. LoreMariano (talk) 00:41, 23 November 2009 (UTC)


Request another opinion on these. I was going to report these at WT:WPSPAM, but decided to first request additional opinions on the value of the links. Some of the links have already been removed by other editors, one of them citing WP:EL as the reason for removal - but no discussion on the links thus far from what I can see. They look to me to be fairly low-value links; basic information about the subjects wrapped in glossy graphics packaging. The two accounts that have been adding the links are SPA accounts - only adding the links as External Links, no content improvement of the articles. Can some others take a look, and provide feedback on if they feel these are appropriate links for WP? --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 17:49, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

I had a quick look at some of the video in the link added at Major depressive disorder and totally agree with Barek's above assessment. There might be gold in the sections I did not watch, but what I did see could have been summarized in one short paragraph of text. The graphics seems typical of the "we know you don't technical details, so here are some meaningless pictures to entertain you" genre. I do not think the links are suitable for Wikipedia. Johnuniq (talk) 02:55, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Johnuniq's assessment. I looked at the depression video, and it's accurate, but not desirable. It's a complete failure of WP:ELNO #1 (and it's linked in a featured article, so it adds nothing).
The "spammer beahvior" is unfortunate, but not really the point of this particular noticeboard. I think that a report to SPAM for a possible blacklisting might be appropriate. Alternatively, an XLinkBot listing might be sufficient, since the spamming is coming (partly) from IP accounts. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:13, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Adsense pub-8472772263301201
Anatomical Travelogue, LLC (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • blacklist hits • AbuseLog • what links to user page • COIBot • count • block log • x-wiki • Edit filter search • WHOIS • RDNS • tracert • • StopForumSpam • Google • AboutUs • Project HoneyPot)
Related, plus another IP. I had to revert more added by since this report--Hu12 (talk) 17:07, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

eyes needed ...

could someone please have a look at User:Saxweb's contribitions to see whether intervention is warranted? he/she seems to be concentrating on adding links to a site he/she is pretty clearly affiliated with. thanks Sssoul (talk) 20:48, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

There may be a conflict of interest, but changes like this are what Wikipedia needs more editors to do. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:41, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Google "Hosted News"

I've seen several links from Google's "hosted news" site all go dead after a time. Perhaps we should blacklist* to prevent this from happening? Since they eventually die anyway and other, more permanent sites carrying AP stories are pretty easy to find, there's not much point in adding such links in the first place. --Cybercobra (talk) 06:31, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't think blacklisting is a viable option as the sites aren't malicious nor are they used for vandalism. Do we blacklist any other news site which goes dead after a period? Does work with google news? If so, that's an option for what to do with the dead news links. ThemFromSpace 05:24, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that a blacklist is warranted, because editors might legitimately use that URL on a talk page. But perhaps a bot could deliver notices to articles that have the link in the main namespace, to warn them about the short lifespan.
I looked through about twenty-five thousand links for * and found none that contain the string hostednews. I found a lot at, however; perhaps they have changed their format. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:53, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I was just throwing it out there; Forget I brought it up. --Cybercobra (talk) 08:06, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Link to at Lakota language

Over the past year or so various editors - often IP users - have repeated added a link to to the page Lakota language. Some editors have removed this link repeatedly; others have argued that the link is appropriate. I have suggested that this notice board may be an appropriate place to discuss the matter in order to reach consensus. See also Talk:Lakota language#Summary of discussion to date.

My own opinion is that there is little to recommend the site, as it offers little information about the language itself - though it does sell books on language, which I have not read.

(By the way, I wasn't sure if new discussions go at the top or bottom of the page. Sorry if I erred.) Cnilep (talk) 23:18, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Cnilep, thank you for moderating the discussion on the relevance of keeping that site among the external links. I just wanted to comment that one of the books (the dictionary) is now also sold on Amazon and it has the "Look inside" feature. If you look at the sample pages of that dictionary ( you will see that the level of inconsistency is beyond description. And that is the pervasive characteristic of the whole production. Thiyopa (talk) 13:13, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Cancega (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · blacklist hits · AbuseLog · what links to user page · count · COIBot · user page logs · x-wiki · status · Edit filter search · Google · StopForumSpam)
Tnwcreations (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · blacklist hits · AbuseLog · what links to user page · count · COIBot · user page logs · x-wiki · status · Edit filter search · Google · StopForumSpam) (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • blacklist hits • AbuseLog • what links to user page • COIBot • count • block log • x-wiki • Edit filter search • WHOIS • RDNS • tracert • • StopForumSpam • Google • AboutUs • Project HoneyPot) (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • blacklist hits • AbuseLog • what links to user page • COIBot • count • block log • x-wiki • Edit filter search • WHOIS • RDNS • tracert • • StopForumSpam • Google • AboutUs • Project HoneyPot) (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • blacklist hits • AbuseLog • what links to user page • COIBot • count • block log • x-wiki • Edit filter search • WHOIS • RDNS • tracert • • StopForumSpam • Google • AboutUs • Project HoneyPot)
--Hu12 (talk) 19:15, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Social networking sites

Why should links to social networking sites be avoided? Because some sites have video-sharing applications, is it okay to link an article to a video that's illustrating something related to what the article is about, especially if the one who created it is willing to show it for educational purposes? (talk) 11:22, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Mainly it's because the majority of pages on those sites are vanity and/or fan pages with little useful content that can't be found elsewhere. Still, there's no blanket ban on such pages, so if there's ACTUALLY something useful, then it may be fine, though it should probably be discussed on the article's talk page. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 15:19, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Please be sure to read WP:EL#Rich media, WP:ELMAYBE #2, and WP:ELNO #1 first. Wikipedia occasionally has a bit of a problem with people adding links to videos that contain almost no information at all, and far less information than the article covers. We don't want to use a lot of computing resources (which some of our readers don't have) to repeat what they've already read, just with pretty moving pictures this time.
The best use of rich media links is to communicate something that cannot be adequately communicated in written text (like a complicated shape spinning around so you can easily see each side). WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:29, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Pete Townshend needs reviewing

it would be enormously helpful if experienced ELN editors could have a look at the Pete_Townshend#Other_notes section of the article to ascertain whether it's all in line with Wkipedia policies, particularly WP:ELNO#In biographies of living people. thank you Sssoul (talk) 08:22, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

What exactly is that long section of numbered external links supposed to be accomplishing? Saving readers the trouble of asking Mr Google for further information? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:03, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
i don't know what purpose the section is meant to serve; part of the aim seems to be to add sensationalized quotes from tabloids in the form of "annotations". anyway i'd be grateful if you could add your assessment of it to the article's talk page, and/or if you could help clean that section up. there have been a lot of disputes on the page lately and outside opinions are direly needed. Sssoul (talk) 07:39, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Go ahead and remove it and see if anyone objects. When I remove many news stories/reliable sources at a time I usually place them on the talk page. That way anyone in the future who wants to build up the article will have a nice supply of sources to start with. But if you believe that they are of tainted viewpoints than you might want to get rid of them entirely. ThemFromSpace 08:44, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
thanks for the input - i've cleaned up a bit, and will continue later if there are no objections. Sssoul (talk) 10:00, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
One community member, showing up on the talk page, as requested. The talk page looks pretty wound up with some (unrelated) complicated issues, so if other people have a minute, I'm sure that a couple of positive/cheerful/non-disruptive comments from uninvolved editors would be deeply appreciated as a change of pace. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:40, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Special Constabulary +

I was just stumbling across the Special Constabulary page earlier today and i reversed the removal of the link mentioned above because it clearly is an invaluable source if you want move information about the specials. Yes it has adverts, like most sites do nowadays and yes it does allow you to become a paid member but you dont need to. You are not restricted to the information you can receive on the site or the forum if you don't pay. It's more of a donation than a membership.

The website is clearly viewed as a reliable source by the two police constabularies i am personally aware of because on the correspondence you receive upon applying you are given information on the best sources to aid your research you are actually told to go on the website. Also when i applied and interviewed i mentioned that i read the site i was asked official questions by the force specifically because they knew the answers we needed were on that site. It just seems a bit odd to remove a link to a site that offers itself as an excellent resource(just look at the forum it links to) for all things about the special constabulary and is recognised offically by the police themselves. Uksam88 (talk) 19:48, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

It's not an officially recognized website; it says "Not an official police site" and "Note that these views are my own, as are all of those on the web site, and don't represent the views of any police force or Special Constabulary."[15] It's just one person's website, with a discussion forum.
WP:ELNO #10 says that we avoid forums on general principle (the principle, in this case, being that Wikipedia editors that are providing a link should know what's on the page, and "what's on the page" changes every time someone posts to a chat room, so it's impossible to know what our readers will see).
I don't think that the website has an offensive amount of advertising (WP:ELNO #5), but the edit summaries might be indicating WP:ELNO #4, which is perhaps possible. Ultimately, this clearly isn't the worst link on Wikipedia, but I'm not convinced that it's a good link for the article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:58, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the response, guess i appear to be a bit out of touch since i'm back from my hiatus. Guess its back to reading the rules. :) Uksam88 (talk) 21:22, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm happy to tell you what I know; don't be afraid to ask, especially about borderline cases like this.
Please remember that WP:ELNO is not WP:ELNEVER. Editors at the article are allowed to provide links to a "normally avoided" website if they think it's valuable to the general reader (e.g., not past, current, or future constables). For example, some 'mostly forum' websites have a good history or FAQ page that could be linked directly and would be interesting to just about anyone that bothered to read our article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:11, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

I was wondering about the suitability of player profiles on for tennis player articles, which TennisSpecialOne (talk · contribs) has been keen to add}}. I'm wondering in particular about Sabine Lisicki, which seems to have adequate number of external links already., on the other hand, is barely ranked [ on Alexa and Google only returns 3 backlinks, so it is by no means a notable site. And I explained to the user that if it was a reliable site, then it would probably be better put to use as a source rather than an external link. Mosmof (talk) 15:27, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Links to knol articles appropriate?

Please look at's contributions. Are these links to knol articles acceptable? --NeilN talk to me 14:19, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Has this anon done anything except add and update links to Knol?
Knol probably meets the standards for acceptable wikis (WP:ELNO #12), but links-only editing is discouraged (especially from IP addresses that have a reputation for being spam-friendly). WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:07, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
No they haven't. I was going to revert the lot but the knol articles actually looked well-sourced and useful. I couldn't find out much about the author though. --NeilN talk to me 20:16, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
All of the knols appear to be written by the same author, so it's highly unlikely that the IP is sprinkling random knols around Wikipedia. Also, the author doesn't appear to be notable in any way. Treating knols as a personal pages, the links would fail ELNO #11; and they also appear to be promotional. I say remove them. ThemFromSpace 22:51, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Letter from the editor a valid external link?

This file is a letter from Fred Woodworth to the person that runs "The Classic Typewriter page." The letter is being used as an external link in Killian documents controversy. Is this a valid external link? Hipocrite (talk) 00:09, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Is the letter mentioned or discussed within the article? If so, a direct link to it would be nice as it adds extra information that's relevant to the article that we can't write directly due to space and copyright concerns. If the letter isn't directly applicable to the article, and isn't able to be mentioned within the text, I would say it would be superfluous. ThemFromSpace 22:44, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
It is not prohibited under this guideline. Woodworth's political views or official credentials are irrelevant; we're not trying to figure out whether it's a reliable source. We care whether it has accurate, on-topic, meaningful, and/or relevant. It meets those standards. It also doesn't fail any of the ELNEVER or ELNO lines. It is therefore not prohibited.
Thousands of links meet these standards, and editors have to use their own judgment about whether a "not prohibited" link should actually be included.
The section as a whole needs to be weeded with WP:NOTDIR in mind: Wikipedia does not provide a comprehensive directory of all the related documents, period. This is not WikiSource. The section also needs to be re-formatted to comply with the first sentence in WP:LAYOUT#Standard_appendices_and_footers. It might also be worth re-formatting some of the short lists of documents into a single link (like "CBS documents: 1, 2, 3, 4" instead of using four separate lines) to reduce the amount of screen real estate dedicated to external links. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:59, 9 December 2009 (UTC) and User:

I've seen these links popping up for some time now and I've generally disregarded them, but the spamming behaviour by the IP (over 100 links placed with no content added) is really concerning. I haven't reverted these to avoid the bruhaha that happened over the nzonscreen link, but I do think discussion of this situation is warranted. ThemFromSpace 22:21, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

GeneReviews are substantial, detailed, and free medical reports about usually rare conditions. They could certainly be used as refs for article content, but their content exceeds our scope and therefore complies with WP:ELNO #1. I'd rather have links to these than any number of "patient support fundraising groups".
Link-only editors aren't as valuable to Wikipedia as people that will make the effort to develop article content, but I think that stopping this editor simply because s/he isn't doing more at this time would harm the encyclopedia.
What I'd really like is to get this editor connected, with an account and a willingness to check in at WP:MED or WP:MEDGEN, and to turn these into WP:Reliable sources for high-quality article content -- but these links are better than nothing. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:43, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the input. I had an idea that the links had some merit, but I'll defer to your judgement if you're willing to vouch for them. The spamming behavour still irks me, although its less of a problem now. ThemFromSpace 22:55, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
GeneReviews has been added to {{Infobox_disease}}; see Template:Infobox_disease#GeneReviews for documentation. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:30, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

What I generally do with these good links is check a bit, are they considerate in their additions (correct place, still adding to the page and not just linkfarming, not a spammy sentence that they add but a neutral format of the addition, etc. etc.), and if so, leave them. I do try to discuss with the editor if possible. If the editor is related to the site in some way, then I think Wikipedia:COI#Subject and culture sector professionals and maybe WP:GLAM may be applicable here. --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:13, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Description of external link in MigrationWatch UK‎ article

Hi. Input into a discussion I've been having at Talk:MigrationWatch UK about the text to use in an external link would be much appreciated. Cordless Larry (talk) 01:13, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Hi, I replied over at that article's talk page. ThemFromSpace 01:58, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, much appreciated. Cordless Larry (talk) 10:03, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Fiat Automobiles

I am disputing the addition of an EL here. This is a page on an international company and links to the websites of specific outlets seems contrary to policy. If editors here consider that the link is fine that's fine and I'll leave it. However, if it is thought to be inappropriate then I should welcome someone else removing it since I have now removed it twice which is my limit. Bridgeplayer (talk) 20:12, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Strong Keep - Significant to the article. section Fiat Marylebone. A useful and relevant EL to the official website. G87 22:06, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
This is not a keep/delete !vote; it is a discussion on the application of policy. Far from being 'useful and relevant' it is actually spam. Bridgeplayer (talk) 22:52, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
It's actually the official website of Fiat Marylebone, which is part of Fiat Automobiles. And I think you'll find that it does not violate WP:EL policy as it relates to main part of the article. Not spam and very relevant. G87 23:20, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't consider it spam, since it is an "official link" to a Fiat website. However, it is still not an appropriate link. The main Fiat website ( is already linked, and the site can be easily reached by selecting the UK in the "Choose a Country" box prominently displayed in the middle of the main site's homepage. Per the guidelines, "More than one official link should be provided only when the additional links provide the reader with unique content and are not prominently linked from other official websites." --RL0919 (talk) 00:43, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Based on the guideline above, the link should remain as it is not prominently linked from the other external sites. The Fiat Marylebone website is not easily reached by either two of those links. Content is also unique to Fiat Marylebone. G87 01:09, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Links to specific outlets shouldn't be in an article of a general automobile. See WP:ELNO points 13 and 14. ThemFromSpace 03:52, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Agree. Also, Wikipedia is not a directory of links. If the website is important, it will be on the main Fiat website, which is in the article. Even if it weren't, it is not Wikipedia's role to provide a helpful link to every significant commercial outlet. Johnuniq (talk) 04:06, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree too. Linking to the main Fiat website is sufficient; no need to link to individual dealers, "flagship" or otherwise. Cordless Larry (talk) 22:08, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Removed. PeterSymonds (talk) 08:49, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Links to OpenStreetMap relations

Would a link like [16] in New York State Route 9A be a good external link? If so, how would it be formatted? --NE2 20:35, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

I think that would be acceptable. I typically discourage maps in ELs of specific locatsions, since the geocoordinates at the top of the page link to maps, but a highway is a different story. I'd format it something like
ThemFromSpace 05:32, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Global museum on communism

Should the article Mass killings under communist regimes provide an external link to the Global museum on communism?[17] It is not cited in the article and appears to be not neutral. The chairman, Lee Edwards is a historian at the Heritage Foundation and the board appear to all have links to the American Right.[18] There are no independent reviews of the site and the museum does not have a professional curator. The Four Deuces (talk) 12:36, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

The link at issue is Global Museum on Communism from Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation which is chartered by the Congress of the United States and whose charter was signed by President Clinton. It is a non-profit organization. I, in fact, have found absolutely zero references in WP that having or not having a "professional curator" meant anything at all. I did, however, suggest that this is the proper noticeboard. My own feeling was that the person marked the external link as POV, and I suggested he find external links to add himself if the issue is actually POV. Also pertinent is the AfD for the foundation wherein one editor accused it of being a "commerical venture" Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Victims_of_Communism_Memorial_Foundation Collect (talk) 12:48, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Noting also that "external links" per WP:EL should not be directly cited in the article. Collect (talk) 12:49, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Collect, there's nothing whatsoever wrong with using an external link as a proper WP:CITE. Wikipedia accepts websites as reliable sources. EL bans only making them clickable in the text as nonreferences, like "Apple, Inc said today..." WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:07, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Why would it be relevant there? Shouldn't it be in Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation? --NE2 13:00, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

The organization has information concerning killings under Communist regimes. It is a direct cite for the organization article, an external link here. Collect (talk) 18:43, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
My search on mass killing at the website in question produced nothing. If there's a page at this website that specifically provides information about mass killings under communist regimes (i.e., the actual subject of this Wikipedia article), then the specific page can be linked.
The website itself (i.e., its main page) is, however, essentially irrelevant: The article is not about the Global Museum. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:07, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
[19] refers to "mass murderers" which does rather imply "mass killings" -- so, yes, the site is relevant. Also the term "victims" does have some connotations as well, no? The mission statement says

Our foundation works to honor the more than one hundred million victims of communist regimes while educating the public about communism’s crimes against humanity and the heroes who successfully resisted it.

It is a great moral failing that so many do not know the extent of Communism's atrocities. While the horrors of Nazism are well known, who knows that the Soviet Union murdered 20 million people? Who knows that China's dictators have slaughtered as many as 60 million? Who knows that the Communist holocaust has exacted a death toll surpassing that of all of the wars of the 20th century combined?

Per WP:EL where more than one page on a site is relevant, it is proper to link to the main site and not to each page as an EL. Collect (talk) 09:26, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Collect, as far as I can tell, there isn't even one page on that site that talks in any detail about mass killings. A keyword search on "mass" produces essentially zero hits. It's entirely possible for an enormous organization to kill millions of people individually.
  • Yes: The website says that lots of people were killed.
  • No: readers clicking on that website will not learn anything about (specifically!) mass killings in communist regimes.
Consider this: Red Terror gets no hits. Russian Orthodox gets no hits. Great Purge gets no hits. Great Leap Forward gets no hits. What makes you think that a website that can't even be bothered to name a single one of these infamous mass killings and their victims is somehow "about" these mass killings within the meaning of this guideline? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:33, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
IOW, the fact it refers to millions being killed does not mean any "mass killings" occurred, Simple. Collect (talk) 12:41, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that about sums it up. For example, Cholera kills millions, but death from cholera doesn't qualify as a mass killing.
A site needs to provide information that is obviously on the precise topic of the article. This website might be appropriate for an "evil communist leaders" article (because the majority of the content is about the crimes and sins perpetrated by individual leaders), but not for mass killings. The fact that nobody has been able to find link to even one page specifically about any of the mass killings named in the Wikipedia article is strong evidence that the subject of the website is different from the subject of the article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:53, 21 December 2009 (UTC)